Missing Manitoba man had sex-offence charges stayed in 2016


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A Manitoba man who disappeared nearly two months ago once faced sexual-assault charges involving young male relatives.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/07/2018 (1713 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A Manitoba man who disappeared nearly two months ago once faced sexual-assault charges involving young male relatives.

The charges against Vernon Karl Otto were stayed in 2016.

Otto, 66, has been missing since May 29. He was last seen at about 1 p.m., working in a field near his home near Stead, in the Rural Municipality of St. Clements.

His disappearance is considered suspicious, RCMP said in a news release earlier this week,

Otto’s white 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 extended cab pickup truck was found burned and abandoned a short distance from his home, police said. The truck was found May 30, but police didn’t go public with the discovery until July 16.

Otto was arrested Jan. 21, 2015, on two counts of sexual assault and one count of gross indecency, with police later adding charges of gross indecency and indecent assault, involving three different victims who are male relatives of Otto. The males ranged in age from eight to 18 at the time.

Court documents show the alleged offences took place between Dec. 1, 1981, and Dec. 31, 1995.

During a preliminary hearing, the three males gave evidence of numerous alleged incidents that took place in Otto’s barn, quonset and basement. The documents also referred to a lottery win of $60,000 by Otto in or around 2003.

The case was before the court for several months before a stay of proceedings was ordered Sept. 9, 2016.

Otto’s wife, Brenda, declined to speak with the Winnipeg Free Press when contacted about her husband’s disappearance.

In mid-June, the Clipper newspaper in the Beausejour area reported the RCMP had vehicles and officers on foot searching the area near Highway 12 between Thalberg and the Gull Lake turnoff, as well as a stretch of Road 94 North.

The RCMP said Thursday the police force still has officers in the area conducting searches.

Otto is described in the RCMP news release as Caucasian, 6-2, 200 pounds, with blue eyes and grey, balding hair. He was last seen wearing black jeans, a gold watch and casual black shoes.

Anyone with information about his disappearance is asked to call the Selkirk RCMP at 204-482-1222, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com or text “TIPMAN” and your message to CRIMES (274637).


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