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Charges laid in brutal Downtown Eastside assault case

A Vancouver police squad car.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

Charges have been laid in the brutal beating of a Vancouver woman who was dragged behind a van when she tried to escape.

Vancouver Police arrested a 39-year-old citizen of New Zealand, who was working as a handyman and using the alias Robert Clarke, on Thursday.

Investigators allege the 42-year-old victim was picked up against her will, driven to a secluded area, tied up and beaten during the incident earlier this month.

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Witnesses called 911 on seeing her being dragged behind a white van after police believe she attempted to jump from the moving vehicle.

Insp. Laurence Rankin says officers picked up a man for violating immigration laws just days after the assault, but only concluded he is a suspect in the attack in the following weeks.

Thirty-nine-year-old Michael Farley is charged with eight counts, including aggravated sexual assault causing bodily harm and overcoming resistance by choking to commit a kidnapping.

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