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New charges for man in Calgary torture case

CALGARY - A man charged in a disturbing case of alleged torture involving his former roommate is now facing additional charges related to a girl under the age of 18.

CALGARY - A man charged in a disturbing case of alleged torture involving his former roommate is now facing additional charges related to a girl under the age of 18.

Dustin Paxton, 30, was already facing charges that include aggravated assault and forcible confinement. The alleged victim in that case is Dustin LaFortune, a 26-year-old man who lived and worked with Paxton in both Calgary and Regina.

Police Insp. Monte Sparrow said Paxton will now be charged with new counts of forcible confinement and aggravated assault. He wouldn't give any details about the alleged victim, except to say she was underage and known to Paxton.

"She did not (come forward)," Sparrow said. "During the course of our investigation we identified her as a potential victim. We contacted her and based on a statement she provided we have two charges against him with her as a victim."

Sparrow said officers are continuing to investigate whether other crimes were committed. He said investigators have made requests through the media for other complainants and other witnesses, and he said a number of people have contacted them.

The assaults on LaFortune are alleged to have taken place as far back as 2008.

LaFortune was starved, burned and had parts of his tongue and lips cut off before being dumped at a hospital in Regina on April 16.

He weighed just 87 pounds, down from his usual weight of 245. His family has said that in addition to extensive physical injuries, he suffered brain trauma and amnesia.

LaFortune was reported missing in Calgary on April 12.

His family said he moved to Calgary from Winnipeg two years ago to work for a moving company that Paxton owned and they lost contact with him in February.

Calgary police had more to say Wednesday about a 911 call made on Feb. 28 that was connected to the LaFortune case.

The call, alleging an assault, was made at 6:30 p.m. that day but officers were never dispatched.

Sparrow said the caller was male, but was not LaFortune himself. It did originate in Calgary, but not from the residence where Paxton and LaFortune were living nor from a neighbour.

"At this moment we're not sure who that person is," he said.

Calgary Police Service Deputy Chief Trevor Daroux said the matter is under investigation.

"These aren't cut and dried situations — they are difficult situations and the people who take those calls are there to do the best job they can," he said.

Daroux said the call centre handles 900,000 calls per year.

"What concerns me is we didn't meet the public expectation. The public has a high expectation as we do, and in this case it appears we may not have met this. We need to find out why not, and what do we do to make it better."

Paxton is back in court on Friday.

LaFortune is now in Victoria recuperating with his family.

 
 
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