Status of high-profile sexual assault case unclear

Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella refuses to answer reporters’ questions

The future of a high-profile sexual assault case is uncertain after the accused was found dead, and police are not providing any clarity.

Alexander Joseph Frederick Thomas was found unresponsive in a Dartmouth home on Saturday morning in what has now been ruled a homicide.

In February 2020, Thomas was charged with the sexual assault and forcible confinement of Carrie Low. He was scheduled to appear at a pre-trial hearing Tuesday and Wednesday.

Lawyers are expected to meet as planned on Tuesday to discuss next steps with the charges.

The Signal contacted Halifax Regional Police to ask the status of the homicide investigation.

“We do not have anyone in custody at this time but our investigators are actively pursuing all leads,” Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod said.

MacLeod did not provide any information on how Thomas’ death affects the investigation into Carrie Low’s case.

Police contacted Low on Sunday morning to inform her that the accused in her case was dead, said Emma Halpern, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia and a member of Low’s legal team.

Halpern said the news of Thomas’ death came as a shock to her.

“It’s hard to know what to think,” she said in an interview Monday. “There’s just been so many unprecedented occurrences in this case from the beginning that this just felt like yet another shocking step in what has been just the most unbelievable set of circumstances surrounding Carrie’s case from day one.”

Halpern said she wants to know if police are pursuing other perpetrators in Low’s case. Low reported being taken and assaulted by at least two men.

“I guess our hope is that we’ll understand this a little better, we’ll be given the information that Carrie has requested to try to understand the background of what has occurred in relation to the police investigation.”

Halpern said she hopes to ”know what is going on with the potential of charging other individuals and are they looking into that.”

The Signal approached Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella at city hall on Monday following a meeting of the board of police commissioners, and attempted to ask about the status of the criminal investigation in which Thomas was accused. He refused to answer questions about the case, and directed reporters to the police service’s Public Information Office.

Pressed for clarification, Kinsella said, “what part of send your questions to the PIO did I not make myself clear?”

Victoria Welland

Victoria is a journalist with The Signal at the University of King's College. She is also a member of the news team at CKDU 88.1 FM. Originally from Saskatoon, SK, Victoria did her Bachelor's of Humanities degree at Carleton University. She now lives in Halifax.

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