A Yukon judge has found that a man guilty of repeated sexual assaults and violent offences should be declared a dangerous offender, sending him to a federal penitentiary for 50 months.
In a Nov. 10 decision released in late December, Judge Donald Luther ruled that 26-year-old Anthony Skookum was enough at risk of re-offending that he should get the designation.
It’s the third time he’s been convicted of sexual assault, including a previous offence on a young child.
Skookum’s claim that this third conviction is a “wake-up call” for him simply doesn’t cut it, the judge found.
“The Crown has properly indicated that the paramount consideration here is protection of the public,” Luther wrote.
A report by Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe, a forensic psychiatrist, found Skookum at high risk of re-offending.
“With such an established history of varied violence it is clear that without effective treatment interventions and effective risk management Mr. Skookum is at high risk for acts of violence in the foreseeable future,” Lohrasbe wrote in his report.
Skookum also needs to go through sex offender therapy, an area “that has been unaddressed,” Lohrasbe added.
In 2012, Skookum’s probation officer already found that Skookum was in the “high risk category to re-offend both violently and sexually.”
That didn’t prevent him from re-offending.
“Even with the compassionate and understanding sentence that Mr. Skookum received for the second sex crime and the best efforts of the local probation services, he offended violently again in 2014 and then this major sexual assault in April of 2015,” Luther wrote.
“He was cavalier in his approach to drinking and hanging out with his buddies when he knew full well that when he did so, he was going to get in further trouble and create more victims.”
Skookum, however, seems to be willing to change and engage in programming available to him, Luther wrote, and has taken all available programming while in custody at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre.
Lohrasbe recommended Skookum follow an intensive and comprehensive treatment, only available in federal penitentiaries.
Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) offers a five-month sex offender program, Luther wrote.
He urged CSC officials to make sure Skookum is admitted to the program.
Addressing Skookum himself, Luther reminded him of the harm he caused, but urged him to immerse himself in the program.
“I am convinced… that if you fully apply yourself to this and you are fully motivated, you essentially can come out a new man.”
A dangerous offender designation usually means that an offender receives an indeterminate sentence. In those cases the CSC and the National Parole Board decide when a person is released if they’re satisfied the offender doesn’t pose a threat to the public anymore.
Skookum’s case is rare in that he was labelled a dangerous offender but did not get an indeterminate sentence. He was sentenced to 72 months.
With credit for time already served, he will serve 50 months in a federal penitentiary.
With a dangerous offender designation, a judge can order a determinate sentence if he is satisfied that it will still protect society, Crown prosecutor Sue Bogle told the News.
Luther also imposed a 10-year long-term supervision order, allowing the parole board to impose parole-type conditions on Skookum for up to a decade after his release from prison.
“So in this case, he met the test to be a dangerous offender but there was evidence that a period of custody in a federal pen with proper treatment and a 10-year supervision order would adequately protect the public from (the) offender committing another serious personal injury offence,” Bogle said.
Contact Pierre Chauvin at email@example.com