Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Crown seeking dangerous offender status for child rapist

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Justice officials are seeking a dangerous offender designation for a Winnipeg man who went on a sexually motivated rampage that included four separate attacks -- including the rape of an eight-year-old boy -- in inner-city apartment blocks.

Peter Lloyd Roger Laporte, 36, was found guilty earlier this year of eight criminal charges after a lengthy Court of Queen's Bench trial that included 65 witnesses. He returned to court today for a day-long sentencing hearing.

Given the severity of his crimes, the Crown wants Laporte branded a dangerous offender and sentenced to an indefinite period of custody with no guarantee of ever being released.

His first crime in this case was a sexual assault on a 38-year-old woman at about 4 p.m. Dec. 15, 2007. He jumped her inside a Cumberland Avenue apartment block, claiming he had a knife and would stab her. Laporte took the woman into a stairwell, removed their clothing and raped and beat her before fleeing.

He was arrested the next month but was released from custody on Nov. 10, 2008, when the Crown stayed the charges because of problems with the case, including identification of him as the culprit. The charges were revived weeks later when Laporte struck again in three more attacks. But the victim of the 2007 attack was unable to testify because she is currently in a coma after a traffic accident.

On Nov. 23, 2008, Laporte followed a child into an apartment block on Balmoral Street, taking him into a stairwell and violently sexually assaulting him. The boy escaped and ran for help after someone came into the stairwell. The boy was taken to hospital and treated for serious injuries.

The attack was partially captured on surveillance tape. Laporte's mother identified him as the adult in the video, despite Laporte denying any involvement at trial. There was also DNA evidence against him.

The victim, now 12, continues to suffer deep emotional scars, including suicidal thoughts, and "hates who he is," court was told.

"(The victim's) mother described some of the psychological effects on the boy. When asked to compare her son's state of mind before the attack with his state of mind after the attack, she stated that before the attack, he was an excited, loving, outgoing, personable child who loved to visit his many friends. Since the attack, he has been depressed, sad and scared," Justice Perry Schulman wrote in his 21-page decision to convict Laporte.

About 6:45 p.m. the same day, Laporte went to a Cumberland Avenue apartment block and cornered a 23-year-old woman who was holding her two-year-old child in an elevator.

He held a knife against her body and tried to pull the two victims into a stairwell once they exited. Another tenant interrupted the incident. Again there was video surveillance and Laporte was identified as the attacker.

The final incident happened around 9:30 p.m. that day when he attacked a 48-year-old woman who was walking to work from her Agnes Street home.

Laporte offered her some alcohol and she went with him to a nearby residence on Furby Street, where he began attacking her and eventually forced sexual intercourse on her. A caretaker heard the woman's screams and rushed to help, but Laporte attacked him.

The caretaker eventually overpowered Laporte, smashed his head on the ground and sat on him until police arrived.

Laporte lashed out at the arresting officers, kicking and punching them while screaming he had HIV and was going to infect them.


Updated on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM CST: Fixes typo in headline.

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