Bail suspect in Chinook Center assaults

Laifa must be under house arrest 24 hours a day, with exceptions for work, lawsuits and counseling

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The suspect in a series of sexual assaults on women at the Chinook Center shopping mall has been released on bail under strict conditions, including house arrest.

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County Court Judge Greg Stirling has also ordered Salah Eddine Laifa to report to probation daily as long as he lives in temporary housing such as the Mustardzaad.

Laifa’s reporting requirement could be relaxed if he finds his own accommodation, but he still has to report at least once a week, Stirling said.

The judge issued the injunction at the conclusion of a bail hearing Tuesday, during which he heard comments from Crown Prosecutor Melissa Kostiuk, who opposed Laifa’s release pending trial, and lawyer Andrea Urquhart.

At Urquhart’s request, Stirling has banned the proceedings from publishing, which includes evidence, attorneys’ submissions and his reasons for releasing the accused.

“Mr. Laifa, I am going to release you on bail conditions which will be very restrictive,” Stirling said, before explaining his reasons for releasing the accused sex offender.

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Laifa must pay a $500 bail, surrender his passport and undergo all mental health care as directed by Forensic Assessment Outpatient Services, the judge said.

He must be under house arrest 24 hours a day, with exceptions for work, court appearances and counseling. He can also attend religious services once a week and run errands for two hours each week.

Laifa, 28, was arrested May 15 in the southwest Calgary shopping center and charged with four counts of sexual assault after police said four women, including a security guard, claimed they had been molested.

At the time, Laifa had been released on five other charges.

Since his arrest, the Crown has added a fifth charge of sexual assault arising from an incident in Cochrane last October 17.

Additional conditions for his release include a ban on going to Cochrane or Chinook Centre, Stirling said.

His case returns to the Calgary Court on July 22.

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On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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