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.
Child molester Gary Walker (inset) has languished behind bars for nearly one third his 71 years, tormented by his desire for sex with young boys. The septuagenarian has never had a sexual relationship with an adult. He has confounded keepers. Despite undergoing a battery of treatment programs to root out his sexual deviance, experts say he grapples still with “intrusive sexual thoughts” and remains a “significant risk” to molest more young boys if he is released.
It’s unlikely many tears will be shed for Basil Madden, on the occasion of his death at age 62. In 1995, Madden held a 12-year-old boy hostage in a motel room in Kingston, Ontario, and repeatedly raped and beat the boy.
Canada’s worst pedophile, a predator who may have raped and molested thousands of young boys in a three-decade reign of sexual terror, has been denied parole for the sixth time in the past nine years. The National Parole Board said (document after the jump) that although Gary Blair Walker (inset) is now 65 years old, his “risk for sexual re-offence against children continues to be high.” The board also offered, for the first time, a chilling commentary about the effect of Walker’s crimes.
A conviction for first-degree murder, which carries an automatic penalty of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, is not Canada’s harshest prison sentence. In an atmosphere in which law-and-order advocates screech that we’ve grown soft on crime and criminals, you might be surprised to discover that last year judges handed out more of the country’s toughest sentence than at any time in the past three decades.
What makes a child molester, like Christopher Robin Karasek? Surprisingly, it isn’t a history of childhood sexual abuse. A report prepared by researchers working for Canada’s public safety department found that past abuse doesn’t doom a person to become an abuser
Sometimes a Canadian court gets it just right, wielding with precision a liberty-crushing cudgel. Often vilified by citizens outraged over apparent leniency for criminals, the court deserves credit when it makes a difficult decision that may put a vile offender away forever, as in the case of R. v Egan. Sometimes there is no option but to ‘throw away the key’ in the face of a menace so dangerous that there is no priority but to protect society.