(Justin Hudson. Facebook)
APTN National News
WINNIPEG—One of the men charged in connection with two brutal Winnipeg attacks on young women pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of aggravated sexual assault, a provincial Crown prosecutor says.
Justin Hudson, 21, appeared in Winnipeg provincial court Monday morning and pleaded guilty to the attacks, said Crown prosecutor Debbie Buors.
Hudson attacked one of the women, who was 16 at the time, on the banks of the Assiniboine River in the early morning hours of Nov. 8, 2014, and left her for dead. The second woman, who was 23 at the time, was then brutally attacked in the city’s West End.
There is a publication ban on the identity of the victims because the case involves a sexual assault.
Hudson was charged in the attacks along with an 18 year-old male whose identity is protected by a publication ban because he is a young offender.
The 18 year-old, who is in custody, is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 9, but it’s unknown whether he will also plead guilty, said Crown prosecutor Jennifer Comack. Comack, who is handling the case of the co-accused, said the Crown wants to proceed with a direct indictment, meaning the case would skip the preliminary hearing if he chooses to plead not guilty.
Hudson, who is also still in custody, is next scheduled to appear on Feb. 5 to set a date for his sentencing hearing. Hudson, who is Indigenous, will have a Gladue component in his pre-sentencing report, said Buors.
Buors said Hudson’s sister phoned police after a confrontation with Hudson after he threatened to attack his mother in a fashion similar to what his victims faced, said Buors.
Buors said Hudson appeared at his home with blood on shoes and clothes. His mother and sister ran into the second victim by chance at the local 7-11 corner store earlier that morning and confronted him which led Hudson to issue the threat.