Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Police warn of violent sex offender's release

Man set to live at halfway house in city deemed threat to all women

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A repeat sex offender whose past drug use was directly tied to his violent attacks on random women and girls is set to leave jail today and will live at a Winnipeg halfway house.

All females are at risk from Kenton Richard Bryer, 50, and he's considered a high risk to reoffend in a sexual or violent way, police warned on Friday.

Bryer, who also goes by the name Richard Dale Bryer, has been serving a six-month sentence after failing a drug test in January and being returned to custody.

Bryer admitted in June he ate pastries laced with tetrohydrocannibinol (THC), the active drug chemical in marijuana.

Any consumption of illegal drugs violates a decade-long supervision order Bryer was handed in 2009, when he was sentenced for a knifepoint sexual assault of a 28-year-old woman in 1999.

At that point, he was already at Stony Mountain Institution serving a seven-year sentence from 2003 for two separate sexual attacks on teenage girls in North Kildonan in 1997.

This arrest came after one of his victims underwent hypnosis years later and gave investigators a vivid description.

This led to the creation of a sketch by a police artist.

A local TV station profiled the case during its supper-hour newscast, which led a police inspector to recognize the suspect from the drawing.

Based on that information and further investigation, including DNA testing, Bryer was identified and charged.

He wasn't arrested until 2006 for the 1999 assault, after police obtained a sample of Bryer's DNA. Prior to the DNA match, the case had gone cold.

"He blamed his offending on drugs and alcohol," prosecutor Cindy Sholdice told court at a June hearing. His victims were total strangers, she added. It wasn't until a year ago that Bryer's prison time ended. The Parole Board of Canada had ordered him held until he'd served every day.

Bryer is subject to random drug testing while living at a federally operated halfway house in the North End, said Sholdice.

He took a test last December and the next day owned up to smoking marijuana in his room with a fellow resident.

Bryer was taken immediately back to Stony Mountain, but was released shortly after when the results of the test came back as "diluted," court heard.

Not long after, Bryer admitted to trading potato chips for marijuana while locked up and smoking it, said Sholdice.

Parole officials held off testing him again until Jan. 21.

When the results came back positive six days later, he was again locked up and charged with breaching his order.

Getting out of prison after serving a decade behind bars wasn't easy, Bryer told Judge Margaret Wiebe.

"I was struggling," he said. "I was honestly struggling, going places, getting turned down for jobs because I'm a known sex offender," said Bryer.

"It is going to be zero-tolerance," Wiebe replied. "That is simply the reality in which you live," she said. Police said they'd also take a zero-tolerance stance toward anyone who might direct "unreasonable conduct" or acts of vigilantism towards Bryer.

They say anyone with concerns or information about him should call police or the Manitoba high-risk sex-offender unit at 204-984-1888.


-- with files from Mike McIntyre

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 12, 2014 A7

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