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Ex-SMU groundskeeper also faces charges in cases involving 3 women

Matthew Albert Percy is escorted out of Halifax provincial court Thursday after appearing on sexual assault and voyeurism charges. STEVE BRUCE • THE CHRONICLE HERALD
Matthew Albert Percy is escorted out of Halifax provincial court Thursday after appearing on sexual assault and voyeurism charges. STEVE BRUCE • THE CHRONICLE HERALD - The Chronicle Herald

Is Matthew Albert Percy a serial rapist?

The 34-year-old Halifax man now stands accused of sexually assaulting a third young woman.

Percy was arrested Wednesday at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth, where he’s in custody on other matters, and charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm to a woman in Halifax in December 2014.

He was arraigned on the new charge Thursday in Halifax provincial court by video from the Dartmouth jail.

Defence lawyer Brian Warcop asked for an adjournment until Feb. 28 so he can get disclosure on the new charge and receive video evidence on the two other sets of charges.

Percy is also accused of sexually assaulting a woman last Sept. 3 at an address in Halifax’s Armdale neighbourhood and another woman Sept. 15 in a student residence at Saint Mary’s University, where he worked as a groundskeeper.

He also faces two counts of voyeurism, for allegedly recording video of both encounters with his smartphone, and one count of choking the complainant in the Sept. 3 incident to overcome resistance.

Percy, who is no longer employed at SMU, was denied bail Dec. 22 on the Sept. 3 allegations after earlier securing his release on the Sept. 15 charges.

On Thursday, Warcop told Judge Ann Marie Simmons his client has no plans at this time to seek bail on the new allegation.

On Nov. 29, Percy was arrested and charged with taking advantage of the woman at SMU.

The woman went to the SMU residence desk Sept. 15 at about 4 a.m. and asked staff to call police because she had been sexually assaulted by a man she knew. Halifax Regional Police located Percy in a dorm room and arrested him without incident. He was taken in for questioning but was released pending further investigation.

The other alleged victim filed a report with police on the evening of Dec. 5, the day Percy got bail with the Crown’s consent on the earlier charges. Percy was arrested Dec. 15 at his home on Birches Drive in Armdale and held for court.

There’s a publication ban on details of the Dec. 22 bail hearing, including the reasons for the judge’s decision.

Halifax Regional Police said a woman contacted them Dec. 8, 2014, to report that she had been sexually assaulted Dec. 6 at a residence on Lemarchant Street by a man she knew.

An investigation was conducted and was closed Jan. 5, 2015, without charges being laid, police said. The case was reopened Jan. 19 of this year.

“I can say that as a result of the initial media attention and other factors, either other victims have come forward since then or matters have been reviewed,” Crown attorney Rick Woodburn told reporters outside court Thursday.

“I can’t really comment on whether or not there are any more investigations ongoing. But any and all sexual assaults, if anybody comes forward at any time, will be seriously investigated by Halifax Regional Police or RCMP.”

Woodburn wouldn’t say whether he considers Percy a sexual predator.

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