The Yukon Territorial Court did not approve the latest bid for bail from Christopher Schafer, whose planned release to Old Crow last fall drew significant attention and criticism from the Vuntut Gwitchin Government.
Schafer, 45, is currently held at Whitehorse Correctional Centre following a pair of alleged assaults against the same complainant dating back to October as well as breaches of court orders and charges relating to a break-in on a construction site and resisting arrest.
Judge Karen Ruddy heard submissions for and against pre-trial release from the jail on Jan. 6 before delivering the decision that he would be kept behind bars on Jan. 10.
He has trial dates set for February.
Schafer’s release from jail has proved controversial in the past. The initial plan for his early-October 2022 release from jail would have seen him returned to his home community of Old Crow but his flight to the remote northern centre of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN) territory was blocked by an emergency order from the Vuntut Gwitchin Government.
Dana Tizya-Tramm, who was VGFN’s chief last October, cited Schafer’s history of violent and sexual offences and Old Crow’s limited policing and health resources when discussing the move to block Schafer’s flight with reporters. He also called for an apology and an inquiry into the court process that approved Schafer’s release to Old Crow.
Schafer was released in Whitehorse instead but was arrested again within days. He has been in custody since then.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org