Thomas Robichaud, a pedophile who has raped and molested boys as young as four dating back nearly three decades, had no intention of obeying conditions imposed on his freedom. Robichaud was released from prison in January 2018 but he was back behind bars just eight weeks later. Authorities feared Robichaud wouldn’t obey the rules. A document acquired by Cancrime (read it after the jump) describes him, before release, as “a high risk to re-offend against children” with low “reintegration potential and accountability” and demonstrating “a disregard for court ordered conditions.” Doctors believe he is so dangerous that he should take sex-drive reducing drugs to prevent him from attacking children.
Robichaud was turned loose but he was, at least on paper, under the tight control of a long term supervision order, a Criminal Code measure designed to protect society from the most dangerous criminals, particularly sex offenders. The order permits authorities to impose conditions on Robichaud’s freedom and to monitor him for 10 years. A Canada wide warrant for Robichaud’s arrest was issued in mid March 2018. Authorities said Robichaud had breached conditions of his long term supervision order. He was arrested March 15 in Sudbury, Ontario.
Robichaud is subject to more than a dozen restrictions, some imposed by the Parole Board of Canada under the terms of his long term supervision order and some imposed by a judge following his convictions for attacks on children. The parole board forbade him from acquiring or possessing pornography since many of his previous crimes were related to his use of sexually explicit material. He’s required to live at a community correctional centre or halfway house. He’s forbidden from accessing the Internet and he’s barred from lurking in public areas where children congregate, such as parks, playgrounds and public facilities.
A public area is precisely where Robichaud found victims in the past. In April 1995, Robichaud was at a YMCA pool in Mississauga, Ontario. At the time, he was on probation and undergoing sex offender treatment at the Clarke Institute in Toronto. By then, he’d been convicted of sex attacks on five boys ranging in age from four to 14. Robichaud was 17 years old when he committed his first assault on a four-year-old he was babysitting. In the 1995 assault, Robichaud spoke to two brothers, six- and a seven-year-old boys in a Y changeroom. He selected the younger boy as his victim. The assault was described in a judgment of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, released in December 2017:
While the victim showered, [Robichaud] collected the child’s clothing and advised he should get dressed elsewhere. He led the naked victim to a cubicle. No force was used to bring the boy into the washroom, however [Robichaud] used a lot of “smooth talking, like every sex offender does.” [Robichaud] removed his own clothing and exposed his penis. While [Robichaud] sat on the toilet, he placed the victim on his lap, penetrating the victim’s anus with his penis. During the assault, he also had the victim touch his penis.During the assault, the child struggled, pushed [Robichaud] away and yelled “stop,” while [Robichaud] attempted to penetrate him anally.
The assault went on for 10-15 minutes, while the victim repeatedly asked to be set free. He let the victim leave only once the assault was completed. [Robichaud] does not know why he chose this victim and indicated he “just wanted to explode.”
The attack is similar to his first convictions, from incidents in 1989:
While babysitting for a friend [Robichaud] disrobed himself and the four year old and fondled the child’s genital area. He then forced the child to sit on his erect penis however there was no penetration. [Robichaud] held the boy’s head and thrust his penis into the boy’s mouth. [Robichaud] also fellated the child. The second victim was the [eight-year-old] son of a couple [Robichaud] knew. He persuaded the child to go to a secluded area with him. The assaults consisted of fellatio and attempted anal intercourse. [Robichaud] released the child when he began to resist being anally penetrated. The third victim was the five-year-old friend of the first victim. This assault occurred outside and consisted of fondling over and under clothing.
Robichaud was convicted of two charges of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement stemming from the YMCA attack in 1995. He was sentenced to four years in prison. He was freed from Warkworth Institution, a federal prison near Campbellford, Ontario, in September 1998 on statutory release, permitting him to serve the final third of the sentence in the community. But Robichaud was quickly hunting victims again. He was caught making phone calls to young boys and hanging out at a shopping mall. He was taken back into federal custody in 1999.
By 2000, Robichaud was free again because his sentence for raping the six-year-old boy at the Y had expired. Robichaud began one-to-one counselling, he attended sex offender relapse prevention groups and began taking sex-drive reducing drugs. For a stretch of roughly 12 years, Robichaud remained free of new convictions for sex crimes, though it’s possible he was preying on victims but was not caught. During sex offender counselling inside Warkworth penitentiary in the late 1990s, Robichaud admitted he had committed 30 undetected sex assaults for which he has never faced punishment. Given his diagnosis as a pedophile with anti-social personality disorder it is likely there are many more victims who have never reported to authorities.
At one point, Robichaud won a pardon that concealed his past misdeeds. The pardon was rescinded after he was caught in 2013 using an online chatroom to arrange to meet young boys for sex. In one case, a police officer posed as a 13-year-old boy and Robichaud arranged to meet the ‘boy’ for sex. Robichaud was arrested. Investigators found child pornography videos on his computer.
Robichaud was convicted of two charges of child luring and one count of possession of child pornography. After a lengthy court proceeding, a judge declared Robichaud a dangerous offender, a designation in law that permits authorities to lock up a criminal indefinitely because he poses such a great risk and shows little hope of treatment or control. The judge declined to impose an indefinite sentence, instead taking the unusual step of of imposing a 10-year long term supervision order to begin once Robichaud’s sentence for the luring and pornography charges was completed. On those counts, he was effectively sentenced to slightly less than five years imprisonment.
A psychiatric report on Robichaud completed in 2016 concluded that he is not a psychopath; he scored 22 out of a possible 40 points on a diagnostic test that measures psychopathy. Robichaud’s score is high, but not at the diagnostic cutoff of 30 for psychopathy.
The psychiatrist noted that Robichaud “displayed a concerning degree of minimization and distortion of his motivations” and concluded that his “risk for sexual reoffending against children remains high.” But the doctor also concluded that Robichaud could be controlled in the community if he is subject to ongoing sex offender treatment including chemical control of his sex drive.
If Robichaud is convicted of breaching his long term supervision order he could be kept in penitentiary but not indefinitely. At some point, he’ll be free again.
The written record of a decision by the Parole Board of Canada, January 4, 2018, just before Robichaud was released from prison:
The decision of Madam Justice Faye McWatt of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, December 20, 2017, declaring Robichaud a dangerous offender with a 10-year long term supervision order: