Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sex offender feigned indifference in sessions: counsellor

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CALGARY -- A social worker says convicted sex offender Dustin Paxton feigned indifference during group counselling sessions but exerted a great deal of control over other members of the addiction group.

Lori LaRose, a clinical social worker at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre, testified Monday at the resumption of Paxton's dangerous offender hearing in Calgary.

Paxton, 33, was found guilty in February 2012 of aggravated and sexual assault against his former business partner and roommate after a man was found dumped at a Regina hospital in 2010 -- badly emaciated, bruised, broken and bleeding. The victim was from Winnipeg, where he met Paxton.

LaRose said Paxton took part in four one-hour group sessions aimed at helping inmates deal with the impact that alcohol, drugs or gambling had on them and family members.

She said while Paxton was one of the first people to show up for the meetings and took on a bit of a leadership role in helping hand out reading material, he never shared with the group.

LaRose said Paxton "exercised a fair bit of power over the group."

The Crown wants Paxton declared a dangerous offender, which would mean he would be kept in jail indefinitely.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 10, 2013 A7

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