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Accused serial rapist Richard Mantha in hospital after suffering stroke

Accused serial rapist Richard Mantha has suffered a serious stroke while in custody awaiting the continuation of his sexual assault trial, CBC News has learned. 

Mantha, 60, faces 20 charges in connection with allegations he drugged and raped women predominantly from Calgary’s sex trade. His trial is set to resume in November after he fired his lawyers mid-trial back in January.

Mantha suffered the stroke last week, according to a source who says he remains in hospital.

Defence lawyer Marc Crerar confirmed the situation on Thursday.

“I’ve received confirmation that Mr. Mantha has suffered a serious stroke,” said Crerar. 

“I am unable to comment on any issues with respect to his current capacity or prognosis.”

Prosecutor Dominique Mathurin said the Crown’s office does not have enough information to comment on the matter. 

It’s still unclear if the November trial date will be affected by Mantha’s health emergency. 

Mantha’s charges include sexual assault with a gun, sexual assault with a knife, kidnapping, forcible confinement and administering noxious substances.

The charges are connected to allegations he drugged and raped vulnerable women, most of whom, at the time, struggled with addiction and/or were involved in Calgary’s sex trade. 

On Jan. 30, with a week and a half left in his trial, Mantha fired his lawyers.

The move came after powerful testimony from four women, who told the court he drugged and sexually assaulted them. A fifth woman was scheduled to testify the next day. 

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