(KELOWNA, BC) – Since 2006, the Community of Kelowna has been plagued by 14 documented incidents of Indecent Acts that targeted lone female victims, one as young as 15, at bus stops.
In each case, the suspect male would find a young female victim, who was alone at a transit bus stop at night, and would deliberately expose his genitals to the victim and would, in some cases, masturbate in front of her.
This kind of incident falls under the Criminal Code offence of Indecent Act. Though this offence is considered a Summary Conviction Offence, it is one that is, nonetheless, shocking, disturbing and traumatizing to the victim to which the offence is directed.
The Kelowna RCMP’s General Investigation Section had been working on this file since 2009 when it became apparent that there were similarities between several of the incidents that set them apart from other Indecent Act incidents that had been reported. These similar incidents occurred sporadically over time but involved the same circumstances and similar suspect description.
The investigators involved the assistance of the RCMP’s Behavioral Sciences Section in Vancouver in an effort to further and strengthen the police’s evolving investigation. Investigators also learned, from Behavioral Sciences, that a high number of Indecent Act offences go largely unreported and that many offenders involved in Indecent Acts will only stop once they are found out and apprehended.
The turning point to the investigation occurred in December of 2010 when a transit bus driver, who had picked up a woman who had just been victimized, ran after the suspect and took down the licence plate number of the vehicle the suspect drove away in.
With this new information, the Kelowna RCMP General Investigation Section conducted an focused investigation which included re-interviewing witnesses, researching past complaints, conducting photo lineups, conducting surveillance and preparing a detailed report to Crown Counsel. As a result, a warrant of arrest was issued after Crown approved 5 charges of Committing an Indecent Act. All of these offences had occurred within the previous six months.
With a warrant in hand, police attended the accused’s place of work and arrested 37 year old Gregory Joseph NERLINGER on the outstanding charges.
NERLINGER was held to appear in court on Friday February 25th . He has no Criminal record.
All 14 of the documented victims have been contacted by police and been advised of the outcome of the investigation.