Members of Chilliwack and Kamloops RCMP detachments executed an arrest warrant on Friday (July 30) on a former Kamloops man charged with numerous counts of sexual assault.
Joel Eric Carlson, 28, was arrested in Chilliwack and is facing 11 counts of sexual assault and one count of assault. He appeared in provincial court on these charges on the day of his arrest.
Carlson’s arrest comes following a Kamloops RCMP investigation that began in the fall of 2020, when several Kamloops victims came forth after a Vernon RCMP investigation in August 2020 led to the arrest of Carlson for offences related to sexual assault and forcible confinement.
A public safety advisory was issued at the time of his arrest, which encouraged anyone with information about the offences to come forward due to the nature of the allegations. As a result, Kamloops RCMP received several reports of sexual assaults involving Carlson.
Sgt. Nestor Baird of the Kamloops RCMP serious crimes unit said having multiple victims come forward made the investigation complex.
“This investigation and the number of victims who came forward following the public safety advisory, reminds us of how many sexual assaults occur that are never reported to police for numerous reasons,” said Baird.
The case was assigned to Kamloops’s general investigation support team, assisted by the serious crime unit, resulting in the BC Prosecution Services approving charges. A warrant of arrest was issued July 29 and carried out the following day.
Constable Rachel Buliziuk, who was named as Kamloops RCMP’s dedicated sex-crimes investigator in January 2021, said that success of any investigation starts with the survivors.
“We know it’s not easy to come forward about these types of offences, but we want you to know that we are here for you,” said Buliziuk.
“Whether you are an alleged victim of this accused person, or of an instance completely unrelated to this, we want to help you through the investigative process and start your path to healing.”