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Man accused of holding girl at remote cabin pleads guilty in other incident

Aaron Gardiner was arrested in a high-risk takedown by RCMP tactical officers who were flown in two CH-146 Griffon helicopters to an isolated northern Sask. cabin to rescue a girl. He pleaded guilty to assault against a second victim.

BATTLEFORD – A 42-year-old Sandy Bay man – who is accused of holding a girl hostage at a remote northern Saskatchewan cabin - pleaded guilty Monday in a separate incident.

The trial for 42-year-old Aaron Gardiner didn’t proceed Monday after he pleaded guilty to an assault that occurred in February 2020. 

This charge against Gardiner was laid while he was in custody three months after he was arrested in a dramatic high-risk takedown by RCMP tactical officers who were flown to an isolated cabin in two military CH-146 Griffon helicopters to rescue an underage girl in April 2020.

Île-à-la-Crosse RCMP say they received a call on April 23, 2020, that a girl was being held against her will for four days at a remote cabin across from Île-à-la-Crosse Lake. The lake was covered in water and slush so the RCMP called in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Saskatchewan Emergency Response Team (ERT) to help. Within hours, two Canadian Armed Forces CH-146 Griffon helicopters flew the ERT tactical RCMP unit across the lake and landed beside the cabin.

Police rescued the girl who only had minor bruising and she was flown back to her family in Île-à-la-Crosse.

Gardiner allegedly tried to flee from the cabin and resisted arrest. The RCMP deployed a Taser and he was treated in Île-à-la-Crosse for minor injuries.

Police seized firearms and drugs from the cabin. Gardiner was charged with unlawful confinement, assault, overcoming resistance, uttering threats, resisting arrest, possessing a firearm for a dangerous purpose, use of a firearm in commission of an indictable offence, proceeds of crime, and possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Additional charges

After Gardiner was arrested in April, police charged him in additional incidents when more alleged victims came forward.

Saskatoon Crown Prosecutor Linh Le told the court that on June 30, 2020, a woman went to the RCMP about an incident that occurred in February 2020.

After being sentenced, Gardiner was remanded by law until his three upcoming trials in September and December on additional charges.

He has been in custody since he was arrested almost two years ago. There were numerous delays in the case against Gardiner after he fired several lawyers and some lawyers quit.

The remaining charges against Gardiner haven’t been proven in court.




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