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Mission man arrested for sexual assault on woman hiking North Vancouver trail

Tips from the public helped identify the man now charged.

Police have made an arrest in the Feb. 13 sexual assault on a woman hiking a Lynn Canyon trail.

North Vancouver RCMP alerted the public on Feb. 14 after a woman reported being approached from behind and groped by a stranger while she was crossing the footbridge exiting the Varley Loop Trail near Rice Lake Road.

On Thursday (March 10), investigators released images of the suspect the victim captured on her cellphone immediately following the assault.

That resulted in fresh tips from the public, and on Saturday (March 11), Abbotsford Police arrested a man at a worksite in Abbotsford’s South Poplar neighbourhood around McCallum Road and Highway 1.

"We asked for your help, and you came through, and we want to say thank-you," said Sgt. Peter DeVries, North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson, in a release. “This is a great example of the power of the public and the police working together."

DeVries spoke to reporters about the arrest at a press conference later that evening.

“These kinds of incidents are upsetting for the community. They violate a very personal sense of safety and security, and they can be really impactful to people’s sense of safety in the community,” he said.

The Crown has now sworn one charge of sexual assault against Jairus-Paul Covacha Sacramento, a 22-year-old Mission man.

Sacramento is due back in North Vancouver provincial court on March 30.