TORONTO — A man with a criminal record spanning decades is back in Canada awaiting trial for a number of historical sex assault cases, Toronto Police said Monday.
Alexander Winston Sylvester, 55, was ordered extradited from the U.S., in May to face 14 charges related to three attacks in 1993 in Toronto. He's also wanted in Ontario's Peel Region for two separate sex assaults that occurred in 1981 and 1982. One of those incidents involved a 14-year-old girl.
The suspect's alleged Canadian crime spree began in Toronto in 1980 after he arrived as a visitor from Jamaica. He was arrested in 1993 in Scarborough, Ont., for possessing cocaine and a restricted weapon. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
He fled to New York State to avoid arrest in Peel, where a woman and a 14-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted. While in New York, he was sentenced to 20 years jail for murdering a drug dealer.
He was eventually paroled but violated his conditions when he returned to Canada to be with his wife.
In 1993, police allege, he attacked three women in as many weeks.
A Scarborough woman, then 54, was forced at gunpoint from her porch into her home, where she was robbed, threatened with death and left tied to a bathroom faucet.
A woman, then 49, was kidnapped off the street 12 days later, and driven to her home where police allege she was fondled and robbed.
A woman, then 53, who was sunbathing in her backyard 11 days after the second incident, was forced into her home by a masked gunman. The victim's husband, who was home at the time, saw the masked man and fled outside where he telephoned police. But, before police arrived, the woman was sexually assaulted and robbed. She was left tied to the faucet.
The suspect was arrested in Toronto a short time later for a theft and was handed over to Peel officers in connection with a 1982 rape. He was sentenced to eight years in prison and served five.
He was then deported to Jamaica, where he is believed to have killed a woman in September 2000, but fled that country for the U.S. The man is not wanted in Jamaica.
In August 2002, the suspect was arrested in Virginia for drug and gun offences.
It was then that police identified him as a suspect in the Toronto and Peel crime sprees.
The suspect served time in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and New York.
While in a Pennsylvania prison, Canada applied to extradite the suspect in 2006, but a federal judge denied the request. U.S. District Judge John Jones III ruled "the government's presentation at the hearing did not provide the court with sufficient, legally competent evidence under Pennsylvania law to establish probable cause that Sylvester committed the accused offences.
"The court is exceedingly aware of the heinous crimes with which Sylvester has been charged and for which Canada seeks his extradition," the judge ruled. "However, our judicial duty is to interpret the (extradition) treaty within the bounds of the law, and as a result the nature of the unsettling allegations that form the basis of the crimes charged (is not relevant in law) to us."