CTV News has learned the man known as the Motorcycle Rapist is set to be released to a halfway house in Saint John.
In 1989, John O’Brien was convicted of raping eight women in Nova Scotia. He was sentenced to 37 years in prison, and now qualifies for statutory release.
O’Brien is set to be released from prison on Wednesday, which means he would have served two-thirds of his 37-year sentence.
Parole board documents indicate O’Brien is now in his early 50s. His criminal record dates back to the mid 1970s.
In the late 1980s, he was convicted of a number of offences including five counts of sexual assault with a weapon, two counts of sexual assault, and two counts of using a firearm while committing an offence.
O’Brien was dubbed the Motorcycle Rapist because he was wearing a helmet and riding a motorcycle in many of the cases, most of which occurred in rural and secluded areas in and around the Halifax area.
Parole documents indicate O’Brien has completed programming to focus on emotional issues, sexual deviancy and substance abuse.
However, the documents also state that O’Brien has adopted violent behaviour following completion of the program, which they say speaks to his limited progress.
The papers also indicate O’Brien’s risk of sexually reoffending is in the high end of the moderate range and that his risk for general violence is in the moderate range.
The documents go on to say his case management team is concerned about the potential risk he presents, because he has yet to be tested in the community.
There are special conditions attached to O’Brien’s release and parole documents indicate he will require close monitoring and supervision.
The head of the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre in Halifax remembers the case and is concerned about his release.
“I believe that whoever is responsible for the supervision has a significant responsibility to the community to ensure that he abides by every one of his conditions and I would suggest further, that if he is in violation of any of those conditions, that they need to take the steps that they have legal access to take,” says Irene Smith.
She says monitoring and supervision is imperative, and she would also like to see the police make a public statement, informing the Saint John community of O’Brien’s release.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jacqueline Foster