Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sadistic pedophile dad might do indefinite prison time

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A Winnipeg father who confined, raped and tortured his daughters in his home might be declared a dangerous offender and locked up in prison indefinitely.

The 49-year-old man has admitted to severely sexually abusing his daughters from 2002 to 2009, when they were between nine and 16. He photographed and videotaped the acts.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Brenda Keyser heard a final submission from the man's defence lawyer Friday.

She remanded the case to March 12, signalling she might give her verdict then.

In recent weeks, Keyser has seen and heard a wealth of evidence Manitoba prosecutors say shows he poses a grave risk to the public and should be locked up with no set release date until he can prove he's safe enough to be set free.

The father's name can't be published to protect the identity of the victims. Much of the evidence at the hearing is too graphic and disturbing for public review. Winnipeg police have unofficially described it as the most significant case of child sexual abuse they've ever uncovered.

A court-appointed psychiatrist who examined the man for the dangerous-offender hearing concluded he's a pedophile and sadist who is a high risk to reoffend without major efforts at therapy and counselling while in custody.

He has a prior conviction from the 1990s for sexually interfering with a boy -- a close relative -- for which he was given probation but no jail time.

Keyser must decide whether there's a reasonable possibility the man's tendencies could be eventually controlled in the community. There's more than a "mere hope" this could be done, defence lawyer Crystal Antila told Keyser.

Antila said the man's age and the likelihood he'll serve a prison sentence of at least 10 years should give the court confidence he could be placed on a long-term supervision order (LSTO) and allowed a fixed release date.

An LTSO is the equivalent of a stringent supervised probation order up to 10 years long. It's reserved for criminals who pose a high risk to reoffend but don't meet the criteria for an indefinite jail term.

The father's offence cycle shows he commits crimes only when he's allowed unfettered access to children, Antila said. That can't happen at a halfway house, she said, as no children are allowed, there are surveillance cameras and parole officers randomly search rooms.

"(He's) not an impulsive, spontaneous offender," Antila said. Risk-assessment testing by a doctor hired by the defence shows no probability the father will violently reoffend, Keyser was told.

There's no way to demonstrate with any offender that treatment will work and the person won't ever commit another crime, Antila said.

"Risk is always present because there are no guarantees," she said. The incentive for people on LTSOs is to obey them and not return to jail, she said.

Court previously heard just three of 107 designated dangerous offenders in the Correctional Service of Canada's Prairie region have earned their freedom from prison.


-- with files from Mike McIntyre

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 18, 2014 A9

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