When police arrested the man on trial in the brutal slaying of Toronto real estate agent Lisa Posluns, he was carrying not only a "rape kit" that included a balaclava, nylon rope and handcuffs, but also the stolen identification of other Toronto women, according to evidence withheld from a jury.

As the jury retired yesterday to begin deliberating in the first-degree-murder trial of Nelson DeJesus, 36, disturbing new evidence can now be published about his lengthy criminal record and evidence that suggests he might have targeted other women.

That evidence was withheld from the trial, which began Jan. 17, because the judge deemed it too prejudicial.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Justice Eugene Ewaschuk instructed the jury of three women and nine men yesterday that it is their "duty to determine the truth" about what happened on Nov. 2, 2002, when Ms. Posluns was stabbed to death after working late at her Yorkville office on a Saturday night.

Her body was found in a storage room the next day. She had been stabbed seven times and her throat slit.

Four months later, Mr. DeJesus, who worked as a janitor at Ms. Posluns's office building, was arrested after leading police on a foot chase away from his Toronto home.

The evidence showed he was carrying a pair of handcuffs and a knife sheath, which both contained traces of the 38-year-old woman's DNA.

Story continues below advertisement

What the jury did not hear was that as he ran from police, he tossed off a coat that had in it a balaclava, gloves, a sock, two pairs of handcuffs, a jar of Vaseline and a bottle of Visine eye drops -- a disturbing collection investigators dubbed a "rape kit."

Police also found the stolen identification of two women who worked at the Bloorview MacMillan Centre, where Mr. DeJesus worked.

"It looked like to us, this was a guy who wasn't finished his criminal activities," Inspector Doug Grady, the Toronto police's lead investigator in the killing of Ms. Posluns, said yesterday.

Tall and pale-faced with his long, dark hair neatly slicked back, Mr. DeJesus stood each time the jury entered and exited the courtroom throughout the trial. He had pleaded not guilty and denies knowing Ms. Posluns.

Story continues below advertisement

In their deliberations, the jury must decide whether they believe Mr. DeJesus or the Crown, which argued he stalked Ms. Posluns for months and planned the savage killing of the woman he thought was "hot."

Not only was his saliva and semen found on Ms. Posluns's underwear and jeans, the Crown argued, but the real estate agent's DNA was also present inside a knife sheath and on handcuffs found on Mr. DeJesus.

The killer left a bloody footprint at the crime scene and it was matched to Mr. DeJesus's left shoe. He phoned her at least five times on weekends and evenings -- blocking his number on three occasions -- to make sure the hard-working woman was alone and vulnerable in her Yorkville office building.

In police interviews, however, Mr. DeJesus denied knowing Ms. Posluns, or having ever spoken to her beyond an occasional hello.

Story continues below advertisement

His lawyers blame another, unidentified man, whose skin was found beneath two of Ms. Posluns's fingernails that had been chipped and torn in her desperate attempt to save herself.

Defence lawyer Mitchell Chernovsky also told jurors that the evidence -- including the DNA -- was not foolproof and that police had contaminated the crime scene, failed to test Ms. Posluns's office for clues and kept sloppy notes on the case.

Ms. Posluns had been working late the night she died. Investigators believe Mr. DeJesus knew she was alone, and attacked her in the hallway as she locked up her fifth-floor office just after 8 p.m.

Leading her handcuffed down the stairwell at knifepoint, the Crown alleged, Mr. DeJesus sexually assaulted Ms. Posluns in the stairwell and stabbed her repeatedly. Authorities believe he then dragged her into a utility room, where her throat was slit and she died.

Investigators close to the case say he had a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1988. He was convicted each year between 1988 and 1994 on charges that included theft, assault, and assault with a weapon, for which he served various sentences of up to two years.

Story continues below advertisement

Those charges culminated in 1995, when he was convicted of sexual assault after a 17-year-old girl was forced into a house for an hour where she was handcuffed and sexually assaulted at gunpoint. He spent 42 months in prison for the crime.

Ms. Posluns's family members, who are aware of Mr. DeJesus's record, said it has been extremely difficult to sit through the trial of the man accused of killing her.

"It's brutal," said sister Helen Posluns, who has attended every day of the trial.

"It's been hard for our family to sit in the same room as this man."