Fit to stand trial? Accused serial rapist Richard Mantha sent for assessment following stroke

Richard Robert Mantha is on trial on 20 charges, accused of kidnapping, drugging and sexually assaulting several women, most of whom worked in Calgary's sex trade. (Richard Mantha/Facebook - image credit)

An assessment has been ordered for an accused serial rapist to help determine if his trial can continue after the 60-year-old suffered a serious stroke while in the Calgary Remand Centre.

Richard Mantha is charged with 20 offences, accused of drugging and raping women, most of whom he targeted through their work in Calgary's sex trade.

Mantha's trial is set to resume in November after he fired his lawyers mid-trial in January.

But before his trial can get underway again, court records show that defence lawyer Marc Crerar has requested an assessment to determine if his client is medically fit to stand trial.

In May, Mantha suffered a stroke. Though Crerar described it at the time as "serious," he said he was unable to comment on his client's "capacity or prognosis."

Prosecutor Dominique Mathurin also wouldn't comment on whether the November trial would be affected by Mantha's state of health.

The 30-day assessment will take place at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre.

Lawyers will be back in court on July 4 for an update on the situation following the assessment.

Alleged victims testified

Mantha's charges include sexual assault with a gun, sexual assault with a knife, kidnapping, forcible confinement and administering noxious substances.

The charges are connected to allegations he drugged and raped vulnerable women, most of whom, at the time, struggled with addiction and/or were involved in Calgary's sex trade.

On Jan. 30, with a week and a half left in his trial, Mantha fired his lawyers.

The move came after powerful testimony from four women who told the court he drugged and sexually assaulted them.

A fifth woman was scheduled to testify the next day.