Saturday, June 22, 2013

CANADA - Community freaks out because an ex-sex offender is released

Original Article (Video available)


Saint John residents are concerned over news that another convicted sex offender is moving into the area.

[name withheld] was released from the Dorchester Penitentiary on Friday after serving time for sexually assaulting two young girls more than a decade ago in Calgary.

[name withheld]’s release is subject to dozens of conditions; he can’t associate with anyone under the age of 16, in person, or online.

Why? That’s the question on everybody’s mind. Why are they coming here?” asks concerned citizen Joan MacDonald-Bradford.

[name withheld] is the third convicted sex offender to be released to the City of Saint John in the past three months.

[name withheld], also known as the ‘Motorcycle Rapist,’ was released to a halfway house in the city in April after having served 24 years, or two-thirds, of his sentence.

[name withheld] also arrived in Saint John in April, after having served 12 years for forcible confinement and sexual assault.

Police warned the public about [name withheld]’s release, but didn’t give the community official notice about [name withheld].

They were just gonna slide him right in, and on that note, yes we’ve had them here before, and they haven’t notified citizens. Does that make it right?” asks MacDonald-Bradford.

Initially, [name withheld] was to live in the Saint John suburb of Grand Bay-Westfield, but now officials say that’s not the case.

Civic leaders throughout the region are also starting to ask questions.

There is a heightened sensitivity in our community on the issue of sexual offenders, so when you read in our newspaper that psychiatric professionals and law enforcement have rated individuals as a higher risk to reoffend, that is cause for concern,” says Saint John Deputy Mayor Shelley Rinehart.

I don’t want to place a sign on their lawn,” says MacDonald-Bradford. “I certainly do not advocate any vigilante justice or anything like that and if they are truly rehabilitated, let’s give them a chance. But the three that they’ve sent here, they’ve all clearly stated, they shouldn’t be released. It hasn’t been tested. They have grave concerns.”

The mayor of Grand Bay-Westfield says RCMO have assured her that [name withheld] is not moving into her town, but he is moving to an area policed by RCMP, which includes several rural areas surrounding Saint John.

Mayor Grace Losier also says she is upset about the situation and is not comforted by the release conditions placed on [name withheld].

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