For the second time in less than two years, convicted Yukon sex offender Marcellus Jacob, 27, is at large after walking away from a Vancouver halfway house.
At 6 p.m. Sunday, Jacob failed to show up for curfew at the Belkin Halfway House in downtown Vancouver – prompting Vancouver Police to issue a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest.
Police said that there were “no indications” that Jacob plans to return to the Yukon. However, they urged caution, given “Jacob’s past ties to the territory.”
“We’ll do whatever we can to get him back in jail,” said Whitehorse RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Glenn Ramsey.
“There’s a specific high-risk offender unit with the Vancouver Police Department that’s on the lookout for him down there,” he said.
Jacob had initially been granted statutory release from prison in 2006 after serving two thirds of his sentence — a mandatory provision under the Corrections and Conditional Releases Act.
“It’s mandatory unless a recommendation for detention is made, based on the reasonable belief that this person could commit another violent offence,” said Dave Lefebvre, spokesperson for Corrections Canada.
“Clinical opinion is that you are at a moderate-to-high risk for future violent offending and for future sexual violence,” said a National Parole Board document stipulating the conditions of Jacob’s May release.
“Females, especially young females, are likely to be your future victims,” it said.
If Jacob was unconditionally released he would “present an undue risk to society by committing an offense … before the expiration of (the) sentence,” said the parole board document.
“It is doubtful that you have made adequate progress to not be a threat to the community.”
In 2001, at the age of 21, Jacob broke into a woman’s downtown Whitehorse home and viciously raped and sodomized her for five hours.
Jacob was convicted of the crime in 2002 and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Prior to his most recent escape, Jacob’s sentence was due to end on February 28, 2009 – less than seven months away.
In late November 2006, Jacob took off for four days before turning himself in to police.
The previous breach only extended his sentence by four days — the length of his absence.
“As far as any repercussions from being unlawfully at large, that’s a decision that has to be made by Crown council in concert with the police,” said Lefebvre.
No effort was made to expand Jacob’s charges or extend his sentence in the wake of his 2006 escape.
“As for the justice system and how it’s laid out, it just seems that whatever they’re doing is not working and there needs to be a change in direction,” said Aurea Flynn, a representative with the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres.
“It just seems obvious that this man has not been adequately rehabilitated through his experience in the justice system to this point,” she said.
Jacob is described as a 27-year-old First Nation male. He is 167 cm tall (5’4”) and 77 kilograms (169 lbs.), with dark, spiky hair. He was last seen wearing a red sweater, black pants and black runners.
Anyone who sees Jacob or has information on his whereabouts can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.