New West Police Chief Cst. Dave Jones announcing the arrest of James Gray in 2017. (Black Press files)

Man charged in 1996 sex assault of New Westminster senior dies

James Gray was charged with a litany of assault-related offences against 79-year-old

The man charged in connection with the 1996 sexual assault of a 79-year-old New Westminster woman had died, police said Wednesday.

After a DNA analysis linked him to the crime, James Gray was charged with aggravated sex assault, break-and-enter, forcible confinement, robbery, choking to overcome resistance and uttering threats against Dorothy Darnell. He was 48 years old at the time.

The grandmother was attacked in her home on the morning of Oct. 4, 1996.

According to police, her attacker beat her “so severely that her cheekbone was shattered” and she later lost sight in that eye.

After Darnell lost consciousness, her attacker sexually assaulted her.

Gray was arrested and charged in 2017 and had been in custody at a pre-trial centre when he died last week.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Gray will not face these matters in a court of law,” said Sgt Jeff Scott.

“However, we are satisfied with the hard work of many investigators which advanced this file to a stage where we were able to arrest and charge [him].”

Darnell herself had died in 2015 after decades of advocating for seniors’ safety.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Speed dating’ all-candidates meeting in Surrey zeroes in on homelessness and housing

Candidates mingle with residents at tables with various topics, in 10-minute intervals

Partial lane closures for Port Mann Tuesday, Wednesday nights

Drivers can expect delays during maintenance work: Mainroad

Surrey man drops one-kilo brick of cocaine as cops arrest him outside his house

Amanpreet Singh Gill serving two years less a day for possessing cocaine for purpose of trafficking

North Delta library featuring local artist in new exhibit

Internationally-renowned artist Jarnail Singh will have his art on display until Nov. 22

South Surrey pet blessing event to be held Sunday

All animals welcome to be blessed by Peninsula United Church

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Arborist killed by fallen tree at Maple Ridge Golf Course

Was working near the 9th tee box of the golf course.

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Most Read