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Police warn of man accused of sexually assaulting homeless women

Edmonton police have charged a 60-year-old Edmonton man in connection with two sexual assaults against women, and investigators believe there may be more victims.

In January 2023, police launched an investigation into sexual assaults against homeless women after receiving a report that a man was approaching women near homeless shelters, bringing them back to his home, confining them and sexually assaulting them.

A police spokesperson says two such incidents were identified, one in July 2015 and another in December 2022.

Donald Burnett, 60, was identified as a suspect in the assaults and investigators sent out a warning to local shelters.

On May 10, Burnett was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of forcible confinement.

He was released on July 19 on several conditions, including that he may not go to Hope Mission, Bissell Centre, and the Christian Care Centre, or have any female other than his sureties in his home or vehicle.

He must also abide by a curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

As a result of his release, police say they’re issuing a warning to the community about Burnett.

Burnett drives a silver 2008 Dodge Caravan and is known to go by the names Don or Donald Davidson.

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Burnett is asked to come forward to police by calling 780-423-4567 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

“We’ve heard from community members that Burnett often tells women not to come forward to police,” Staff Sgt. Harry Grewal with the EPS Sexual Assault Section said in a news release. “We want to assure survivors that we are committed to investigating these assaults – we want to hear from you and provide support in any way we can.”

Police have not released a photo or description of Burnett. 

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