Woman accused in homeless camp sex assault arrested weeks after disappearance
VANCOUVER -- A woman charged in a disturbing sexual assault in Oppenheimer Park has been arrested again, weeks after disappearing from her halfway house.
Police said 33-year-old Nicole Edwards disappeared on July 20, marking the second time she allegedly broke her release conditions since being arrested and charged.
The B.C. Prosecution Service confirmed she was taken into custody again over the weekend and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
Edwards and 30-year-old Jason Tapp are accused in a violent sexual assault that took place in the last days of the homeless encampment in Oppenheimer Park back in April.
Authorities said the victim was beaten and held in a tent at gunpoint for more than 15 hours before she managed to escape.
Dallas Brodie, an activist with the community group Safer Vancouver, questioned why someone accused of such violent crimes wasn’t kept behind bars while awaiting trial.
"I am surprised that she was ever released – but to be released a second time when she failed to appear according to the original terms of her bail is just shocking,” said Brodie.
“I don't know how this could have happened, I really don't. I don't understand it and I think most people in our city would have a difficult time understanding how this could possibly happen."
Edwards is charged with nine counts relating to sexual assault, assault and confinement.