A Saskatchewan man who was arrested after an Amber Alert was issued for a girl who disappeared from a school playground has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexual assault.
However, Jared John Charles has pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual assault.
Charles was arrested in July after the eight-year-old girl was abducted near her home in Prince Albert. She was found several hours later.
Charles, who was 19 when he was charged and has also been identified as Jarrod Charles, entered his pleas during a pre-trial conference on Dec. 15.
A Gladue report — which examines an offender's Indigenous background before a sentence is determined — has been requested.
A date for a sentencing hearing is to be set on Feb. 23.
Police said at the time of the girl's disappearance that a man had been seen talking to her against a school wall before he grabbed her, put her into the back seat of his car and drove away.
After the arrest, police said the girl was dropped off in a wooded area outside the city. They said she walked from the woods to a nearby farm where the owner called authorities.
Police said a canine unit followed the girl's footsteps back to the woods to figure out where she had been abandoned. It wasn't revealed how far she had walked or how long she had been on her own.
While police were at the farmyard, they received a call from a business in Prince Albert saying there was someone matching the suspect's description.
The girl's mother has said what happened to her daughter shows it could happen to anyone. She said the girl was in the care of her grandmother, who had stepped away for a few minutes to get a bottle of water.
The girl was well-educated about kidnapping, her mother said.
(CTV Saskatoon, The Canadian Press)
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