Defence Seeks Seven Separate Trials for Richard Mantha, Citing Dissimilarities in Alleged Victims’ Cases

CALGARY, ALBERTA – Court proceedings were delayed for Richard Mantha on Monday as his lawyer seeks to have seven separate trials for him instead of one larger trial involving all seven alleged victims. Defense counsel Kim Arial informed the Alberta Court of Justice that the necessary legal paperwork for the application has yet to be filed due to the size and complexity of the case. Some documentation will be provided to the prosecution and the presiding judge by the end of the day, according to Arial.

Crown lawyer Dominique Mathurin stated that the prosecution would need time to review the application once it is submitted before issuing a response. Despite expressing disappointment with the delay, Justice Judith Shrier granted the request and adjourned further proceedings until Wednesday.

According to Arial, seven separate trials are necessary because each of the alleged victims has different circumstances. She also mentioned that Mantha may choose to testify for only a portion of the charges he faces, considering there are commonalities among some of the cases but not all.

The Crown expressed concern about the potential impact on witnesses if the request for seven separate trials is granted. Mathurin pointed out that some witnesses are connected to more than one complainant, and they may need to repeat their testimony on multiple occasions if there are multiple trials.

The right to a trial conducted in French is guaranteed by Section 530 of the Criminal Code, and Arial suggested that Mr. Mantha might want to provide separate statements.

Mantha, 59, is facing over 20 charges related to allegations of sexually abusing seven women who lead vulnerable lifestyles. It is also alleged that he drugged six of the complainants.

Mantha was arrested in April 2023 after police conducted a large-scale raid on a property east of Chestermere. The days-long search involved officers from the Calgary Police and the RCMP. Thousands of exhibits were taken as evidence, and cadaver dogs were used during the investigation.

Additional details regarding the search at the property remain undisclosed. Mantha had been a tenant on the acreage located on Vale View Road near Chestermere.