Sex offender living near school deemed low risk to reoffend: docs
Published Monday, December 3, 2012 7:08PM AST
CTV News has learned new information about a convicted sex offender living across the street from an elementary school in Dartmouth, N.S.
Parole board documents obtained by CTV News show he sexually abused his daughter over a lengthy period of time, beginning when she was seven years old.
According to the documents, he is unlikely to be a risk to anyone outside his own family, but parents of children who attend South Woodside Elementary School say that doesn’t make them feel any better.
“To me, child sex offences are the most heinous crimes,” says parent Valerie MacArthur.
MacArthur and fellow parent Kimberly Alexander believe they should have been told a sex offender was living near their children’s school.
They also believe the nature of his crimes should have been made public.
“I think it’s disgusting. I don’t think he should be allowed to live so close to a school, especially not an elementary school,” says Alexander, whose eight-year-old daughter attends the school.
In Sept. 2005, the National Parole Board deemed the man a low risk to reoffend.
Their decision states:
The psychiatrist's diagnosis was interfamilial pedophilia and he opines that it is unlikely you will represent a risk to anyone outside your immediate family.
“Low risk is not no risk,” says MacArthur.
The man was released under conditions not to contact girls under the age of 18, and to stay away from drugs and alcohol, but those conditions no longer exist after the warrant expired in 2006.
He remains under a 10-year-old court order prohibiting him from working or volunteering with children under the age of 14.
The parole board documents also state:
The efforts afforded during your incarceration demonstrate that you are striving to lead a productive and balanced lifestyle.
Parents maintain they should have been told a convicted sex offender was living near the school when police informed staff last month, but police told the school not to tell parents.
“Perhaps the police, in being cautious as they should be in trying to protect the public, got stuck in the middle,” says law professor Wayne MacKay. “Maybe it was a case where neither parents nor school needed to know.”
“Obviously there is still a slight risk there or else they wouldn’t have notified the school,” Alexander maintains.
Parents are anxiously awaiting a police review on how the situation was handled.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell