Police released this sketch of a man believed to be responsible for a string of Ottawa sex assaults in April, 2012.
Gavin Sean Griffiths, 25, is charged with sexual assault, mischief and breach of probation in an April 16 assault of a young woman.
The Ottawa man was arrested while riding a west-end transit bus at about 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Police say additional charges are pending in several similar assaults, which began April 14 when a man approached women from behind and pulled their pants down.
Griffiths, who turns 26 later this month, said nothing in court during a brief appearance Thursday afternoon. He is to appear in court by video link from the Ottawa Carleton detention centre May 15.
Griffiths was charged with possessing a knife for a dangerous purpose earlier this year. On Feb. 17, he was sentenced to 45 days in jail, minus the 15 days he'd already spent behind bars, along with 12 months probation after pleading guilty to two charges.
He'd been charged with possessing a black-handled kitchen knife for a purpose dangerous to the public peace on Feb. 5, but pleaded guilty to mischief and breaching bail conditions.
He also admitted to taking a vehicle without the owner's consent on Sept. 16, 2011.
He was on probation at the time for offences committed in Nova Scotia.
No one answered the door Thursday at his home, where neighbours said they didn't know him. The home is only a few kilometres from where Griffiths was arrested.
At least eight women were targeted over several weeks in pants-pulling attacks in downtown Ottawa, Alta Vista and the west end. Some were targeted in broad daylight as they walked to work or a bus station. Police said they recognized the fear in the community and a suspect sketch released last week drew more than 100 tips.
"We're very happy. This created a lot of concern in the community," said Ottawa police Staff Sgt. John McGetrick of the sex assault unit. "Hopefully, it brings some type of closure for the victims."
McGetrick declined to elaborate on details of how the suspect came to be arrested.
Despite an arrest, McGetrick said there is lots of work ahead.
"It's a lot of work in a complex case with so many victims and so many dates," McGetrick said.
Women and transit users are relieved an arrest had been made.
"I think there's certainly going to be a collective sigh of relief," said Julie Lalonde, who works with sexual assault victims. "Everything he did was so brazen. He thought he was untouchable."