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Woman who met 'predator' Richard Mantha through Kijiji ad testifies he drugged, raped her

Richard Mantha, 59, is accused of drugging and raping seven women. Mantha's trial got underway Friday after a judge denied his request to have separate trials for each complainant. (Richard Mantha/Facebook - image credit)
Richard Mantha, 59, is accused of drugging and raping seven women. Mantha's trial got underway Friday after a judge denied his request to have separate trials for each complainant. (Richard Mantha/Facebook - image credit)

A Calgary woman testified that she "lost everything" after meeting accused serial rapist Richard Mantha who she said drugged and raped her for days.

Mantha, 59, is on trial facing 20 charges including kidnapping, administering noxious substances, and sexual assault involving seven women, most of whom police say were targeted because they worked in Calgary's sex trade.

But on Tuesday, the second of the seven alleged victims testified that she met Mantha after he came to her home in Aug. 2019 to buy a coffee maker she'd posted an ad for on Kijiji.

The woman — who CBC News is calling DN — came forward to police after investigators announced the first set of charges back in April.

"I wanted the world to know he was not only a predator to sex [workers]," said DN.

DN told prosecutor Dominique Mathurin that Mantha got her addicted to meth, causing her to lose custody of her children.

"I lost everything, I was homeless at one point, it was very much a life changing event."

'He seemed pretty nice'

In Aug. 2019, DN moved into a duplex after breaking up with her husband. The night she met Mantha, she was drinking beers and intoxicated, according to her evidence.

Mantha wanted to test the coffee maker before buying it, so DN said she let him in. Mantha paid her for the appliance and then offered to help her sell other household items she was looking to get rid of.

"He seemed pretty nice, actually," DN told the court.

DN said she offered Mantha a beer and the two had a couple of drinks before he asked her about drug use.

At the time, DN said she had done hard drugs about a dozen times in the past. She testified that Mantha said he had a "treat" for her, and retrieved a lunch box from his vehicle. Inside, there were "tons of drugs," she said.

DN came-to 3 days later

After a "couple hoots of crack," DN testified she doesn't remember anything from the next three days except for flashback memories, and eventually "coming to" in her bathroom.

She told the judge she believed Mantha injected her with drugs because she found needle marks behind her knees and inbetween her toes.

Over those three days, DN's parents had become so worried about her that her father climbed a ladder to her apartment where he confronted Mantha in the window. DN said she was still in the bathroom at the time, but could hear the altercation.

DN's father left and called police. According to her testimony, Mantha told DN to tell any officers who showed up that they were in a relationship.

'I was just petrified'

She testified Mantha told her he would kill her children and parents if she didn't comply. Somehow, she said, Mantha knew where her parents worked and where her kids attended school.

"I was just petrified," she said.

"I didn't know what to do other than follow what he said."

Police arrived within 15 minutes and questioned her in the doorway while Mantha stood behind it, holding a finger to his lips, instructing her to keep quiet, DN testified.

She said she did what Mantha told her to do.

The officers told DN to call her parents.

"They're worried about you," police said.

"I was hoping the cops were going to be able to help me,"  said DN. "I was sad they didn't pull me out of the apartment and question me separately from Richard [Mantha]."

DN called 'whore,' 'bitch'

DN testified she was still "loopy" and "cloudy" from the drugs and quickly became "super sick." She realized she'd become addicted over those three days.

Over the next couple of months, DN said Mantha remained in her life, supplying drugs that she was now addicted to. She also testified he reissued threats when she didn't comply with his instructions.

Memories from those months are just "flashes from that point on," said DN.

The flashes, she said, include brief memories of being sexually assaulted in a trailer.

"I remember him choking me, calling me names, calling me a whore, calling me a bitch, he was also videotaping us having sex," DN told the court.

'I need him away from me'

DN said she tried to say "no" to sex, but that "[Mantha] pinned me down and forced himself on me."

She also testified that Mantha took videos of the sexual assaults and threatened to sell them.

In Oct. 2019, DN wanted to take her kids trick-or-treating but failed a drug test. At that point, DN said the courts took her kids away from her.

Around the same time, a downstairs neighbour became concerned about DN and confronted her with questions about Mantha.

DN admitted she'd been using meth and told the neighbour: "I need him away from me."

News of arrest caused relapse

The next time Mantha showed up, the neighbour refused to allow him inside DN's home.

From there, DN said Mantha began stalking her — driving to her home almost every night for two weeks and shining his headlights into her bedroom window. She said he also tried calling her from different numbers and messaged her on Facebook.

DN called police who told her that given his previous record, filing a restraining order against Mantha could anger him. Instead, police offered to call him and tell him to leave her alone.

By late 2022, DN said she was sober and remained so for about nine months, until news of Mantha's arrest broke after police spent five days searching his rural property near Chestermere.

Defence points to inconsistencies

DN said she relapsed and "spiraled for a couple of weeks" before entering back into a rehab program.

It was at the recovery centre that DN decided to report her experiences with Mantha to police.

Under cross-examination, defence lawyer Kim Arial challenged some of the inconsistencies between what DN told police and what came out in court through her testimony.

DN told the court Mantha had shown her videos he'd taken of them having sex. But Arial pointed out that DN told police in May 2023 that she had only viewed a still photo of a video.

In her statement to investigators, DN described a chain Mantha wore as gold. In her testimony however, she said it was silver. Arial suggested DN had spotted the colour of Mantha's chain in photos posted in news stories.

'I was naive'

Arial asked DN why she did not tell the judge about how after she let Mantha into her house to buy the coffee maker, she allowed him to take a shower.

Despite being asked several times "what happened next?" Arial pointed out that DN did not mention the shower.

"A strange man you've never met before asks to shower in your house, you say 'sure'?" asked Arial.

DN said she was intoxicated at the time.

"I grew up on a farm, we trusted everyone, very naive," said DN. "So yeah, I was stupid, I was naive."