Serial rapist Rene Bourdon may die behind bars, because of a court decision this week in Kingston, Ontario. Bourdon – who incapacitates women with drugs, then rapes them while they are unconscious – was declared a dangerous offender and sentenced to an indeterminate period in custody. It means he can be held in prison until he is considered no longer a danger. Dangerous offenders comprise a tiny percentage of convicted criminals. Few are ever released. Most die in custody.
Bourdon, 41, is a relentless liar and predator who has refused to obey authorities or abide conditions imposed on him every time he’s been set free.
The dangerous offender designation follows his conviction in 2016 on 12 charges, including two counts of sexual assault involving a naive, 18-year-old girl, a recovering drug addict Bourdon befriended in Kingston. On at least one occasion, Bourdon drugged the young woman and raped her. He also was convicted of nine charges of violating conditions of a long term supervision order – a legal measure designed to give authorities tighter control over a freed criminal. Bourdon has repeatedly flauted conditions imposed on him and he has racked up previous convictions for violating orders.
Bourdon was convicted in 2003 in North Bay, Ontario of raping two women and drugging a third woman. Four women, aged 17 to 21, testified at his trial that they believed they were drugged and raped. One of the North Bay victims had a powerful sedative, triazolam, in her system. Bourdon was sentenced to five years in prison for the attacks.
Released from prison and living in Kingston in 2006, Bourdon was caught trying to prey on two teenage girls, a 16 year old and a 15 year old.
This previous post includes more than 30 pages of Bourdon’s parole records.
In 2009, Bourdon attended a parole hearing while he was behind bars at Bath Institution, a medium-security penitentiary neaer Kingston. I attended the hearing and saw his lying and deception firsthand. My account of that hearing was published in April 2009 in the Kingston Whig-Standard:
A rapist considered a high risk to attack more women likely will stay behind bars and could face criminal charges of violating release conditions for the second time in the past two years.
After a hearing yesterday inside Bath Institution, the National Parole Board said it will recommend charges be laid against Rene Bourdon.
“There are some huge credibility issues,” board member Celine Chamberland told Bourdon after a hearing that lasted about an hour.
The decision rests with Crown lawyers. If Bourdon is charged, he’ll likely be transferred to a provincial detention centre to await court proceedings.
Bourdon, 31, is accused of using a laptop computer to access the Internet. It is the fifth time he’s been caught breaking conditions that are meant to rein in his sexual deviancy while he’s free in the community.
In 2005, while he was free on release, he was caught using a computer to visit pornography websites, escort services and chat rooms.
On other occasions, he has been caught trolling for women.
At yesterday’s hearing, Bourdon pleaded, in a sometimes scattered appeal, that he is making progress and doing what he’s been told.
“After my last breach, I took a lot of time and I said, ‘I have to wake up,’ ” he said.
Bourdon said he’s taking sex drive-reducing drugs and counselling.
“I’m trying,” he said. “It is hard, I’ll admit that, [but] I haven’t reoffended.”
Bourdon said he understands that if he does drugs he can fall into his offence cycle and commit new crimes.
“Being in the halfway house, it is hard, especially for a long-term offender,” he said.
He complained that he has resisted temptation while housed in halfway houses with other ex-convicts.
“All they think about is criminal activities all day long,” he said. On one occasion, he said a housemate tempted him with drugs.
“The gentlemen comes in (my room) and pulls out a wad of … weed out of his pants,” Bourdon said. “People in the halfway house are doing drugs.”
Bourdon was convicted in 2003 in North Bay of raping two women and drugging a third woman. Four women testified at his trial that they believed they were drugged and then raped.
In one case, tests showed that a victim had a powerful sedative, triazolam, in her system.
Because of the time Bourdon had spent in pre-trial custody, he was sentenced to just 22 months behind bars. Once that sentence was complete, a long-term supervision order kicked in. It gives authorities power to impose conditions and monitor Bourdon because he is considered a threat. It will be in effect for seven years.
In 2006, while Bourdon was living at a Kingston halfway house on Portsmouth Avenue, he was caught secretly consorting with two teenage girls, aged 15 and 16. The older girl said she didn’t have sex with him, although he paid for a motel room for her.
Bourdon is required to report all relationships with females to his parole officer.
He was convicted of violating his long-term supervision order and had nearly six months added to his sentence.
Kingston Police issued a community alert about his presence in August 2006, warning that he sometimes goes to laundromats and steals women’s underwear as a ruse to introduce himself.
Bourdon, who is considered a “substantial risk” to reoffend and at risk to commit more serious crimes, was released again last December, but he was ordered to live at a Hamilton halfway house under strict conditions.
Yesterday’s hearing was called to consider the latest computer allegation, discovered while he was staying in Hamilton.
Bourdon claimed the computer was bought for him by his mother so he could attend a computer training program. He said he hadn’t used the machine, but took it to the computer school so that equipment that gave the machine Internet access could be removed.
“You never used the computer?” asked Chamberland.
“No,” Bourdon replied.
“Did you take it out of the box?”
“No,” Bourdon answered again, before his lawyer began whispering in his ear.
“I would like not to continue,” he then said.
His lawyer explained that he didn’t want to answer any more questions about the computer.
The board members said they’d continue the hearing and he could refuse to answer questions.
“Credibility, obviously, is an issue,” Chamberland noted. She asked Bourdon if he asked the teacher at the computer class to take the Internet-enabling hardware out of the laptop.
“No comment,” Bourdon replied.
“Did the teacher remove that piece?” Chamberland asked.
“No answer,” Bourdon said, shaking his head from side to side.
“Why did you need the teacher to do that for you?”
The strange display of question and no answer r several minutes.
At one point, Bourdon explained that his parole officer had approved his attendance at the computer training class.
“The accepted me in their program, they knew my conditions,” he told the parole board members.
He acknowledged that he did not tell instructors running the program that he was barred from the Internet.
Bourdon’s lawyer, Kas Marynick, said he didn’t believe there was clear evidence that Bourdon had a computer that was capable of accessing the Internet.
After the hearing, the parole board members went behind closed doors for about five minutes before deciding to recommend a charge against Bourdon.
They also amended his long-term supervision conditions to make clear that he’s not permitted to possess a computer or any electronic device that can access the Internet.
He is prohibited from contact with any females under the age of 18 and he will be required to live in a halfway house when he’s released again.
In the past, when he’s been caught violating his conditions, Bourdon has concocted what the parole board has described as “extremely far-fetched explanations.”
Bourdon has been devious in his past efforts to circumvent the rules.
In May 2006, while he was living at a Toronto halfway house, authorities discovered a paper airplane on a sidewalk outside the building with a note: “Kevin, 27 years old looking for a nice girl, loving and to go out.” The note included a phone number for a pager that belonged to Bourdon.
While Bourdon registered his first sex convictions in 2003, parole records note that he has a history of sexual deviancy extending to his teens. He was once caught drilling holes in a neighbour’s house so he could secretly watch the woman in her bedroom.
The dangerous offender designation is Canada’s harshest punishment. It is the country’s lock-him-up-and-throw-away-the-key tactic and as close as Canadian justice comes to imposing a death penalty. Since the law was established in 1977, fewer than 1,000 criminals (a tiny fraction of the total) have been designated dangerous offenders. As of 2015, the total of dangerous offenders designated since ’77 was at 735. The number of designations each year has increased steadily. A dangerous offender designation is sought after a particularly violent crime or a pattern of serious, violent crimes and in a case where authorities determine that usual tactics of restraint will not protect society.