Police in Vernon are investigating after a sex trade worker was sexually assaulted in an SUV in downtown Vernon Thursday night, Jan. 12, 2023. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Police in Vernon are investigating after a sex trade worker was sexually assaulted in an SUV in downtown Vernon Thursday night, Jan. 12, 2023. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Police investigating sexual assault of sex worker in Vernon

The suspect’s vehicle is a newer, large, white SUV

Police in Vernon are investigating a case of sexual assault that took place downtown Thursday night, Jan. 12.

Around 11 p.m., officers were called to assist a woman who had been sexually assaulted.

The early stages of the investigation have determined that the incident took place around 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. when the victim, who was engaging in sex work, was approached by a Caucasian man in his 20s, driving a newer, large, white SUV near the 3300 block of 31st Ave.

Once inside the vehicle, police say the woman was sexually assaulted and later dropped off in the Turtle Mountain area.

Investigators believe there may have been more than one person inside the vehicle who were possibly involved.

The victim made her way downtown where she was found by City of Vernon RCMP volunteers, who called police.

“We are releasing this information to the public so vulnerable persons, especially those involved in a high-risk lifestyle, are aware for their own safety when engaging with individuals they do not know,” said Const. Chris Terleski, media relations officer. “The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP’s Special Victims Unit is assisting with the investigation, and we are collaborating with our partner agencies to proactively get this message out.”

Anyone who has information that may assist with the investigation is asked to call RCMP at 250-545-7171 and quote file number 2023-578.

READ MORE: Penticton nurse barred from job for 5 years after sexual assault conviction

READ MORE: Trial underway for former Interior Health top doc charged with sex crimes against child


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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