He is described as a serial predator who scours the Internet for vulnerable single mothers, wins their hearts with a bogus tale of bravado and then terrorizes them and their children.

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He is described as a serial predator who scours the Internet for vulnerable single mothers, wins their hearts with a bogus tale of bravado and then terrorizes them and their children.

Terrance Moquin has left a trail of dashed hopes and devastated victims across Canada and in the United States in a 15-year crime spree. Now a Manitoba Crown attorney wants the justice system to fight back.

"He's sadistic, manipulative and relentless in his offences. He appears to be unstoppable, whether he's on parole, probation, on release or, for that matter, even when he's in jail," prosecutor Cindy Sholdice told provincial court Judge Ken Champagne in calling for a seven-year prison sentence.

"He is capable of extreme physical and mental violence against vulnerable individuals."

Moquin, 38, is expected to learn his fate Tuesday morning after being convicted of his latest crimes, which involve befriending a single mother of two children in an online chat room and then assaulting her when the relationship turned sour in 2007. Moquin was on parole and probation at the time and required to report all relationships to justice officials, which he failed to do.

"Over and over and over again... he manipulated his probation officers. They never suspected a thing," Sholdice said during her sentencing submissions last week.

Like past victims, Moquin told the woman his name was really "Lane Kidd," a former U.S. marine and trained sniper from Texas who had fought in Iraq and moved to western Manitoba to pursue a successful career in the oil and trucking industry. He even proudly showed off his army tattoo.

Moquin's adult criminal history dates back to the early 1990s, when he repeatedly attacked his wife when she confronted him about his penchant for using phone-sex chat lines. He forced the woman to perform oral sex on him while holding a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her in front of their young son, court was told.

Moquin got out of jail in 1998 and quickly befriended a married woman in Red Deer, Alta. He eventually moved into the home -- her husband was on a lengthy work-related stint overseas -- and began to administer "corporal punishment" to her three children, aged 7, 9 and 11.

His most disturbing act involved telling the kids he was going to kill them all and forcing them to choose the means -- a beating, hanging or throat-slitting. Moquin then began to act out the death scenarios, even tying a dog collar around one child's neck and holding him over the side of a staircase, court was told.

He was given two years in prison and three years' probation for those incidents. A parole report claimed Moquin displayed a "callous disregard for the rights of others."

Moquin continued a similar pattern of behaviour following his release, meeting nearly a dozen women in Manitoba through the Internet. Their romances usually ended when Moquin got caught stealing money from them and/or abusing them and their children, court was told.

Moquin received several short jail terms in the early 2000s, usually not for more than about six months at a time.

In 2005, he befriended a married woman from Minot, N.D. and convinced her to come to Winnipeg to post bail for him after one of his arrests for breaching terms of his probation. She left her husband and children, believing Moquin's story that he'd got into a fight while "defending the American flag" with a rude Canadian, court was told. She was intercepted by police who told her the truth about her online lover.

Moquin has spent the past year in custody, and the Crown is seeking up to six more years in prison. Defence lawyer Jody Ostapiw said her client only deserves another year behind bars, saying he can't be given extra punishment just for being a chronic "liar."

www.mikeoncrime.com

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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