Saturday, September 26, 2009

Self-described "rape hound" declared dangerous offender by Canadian court

Chris Thompson, The Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, September 26, 2009

A self-described "rape hound" must be put away indefinitely to protect the public, a dangerous offender hearing heard in final arguments Friday.

"One cannot command the public safety being protected without some sort of supervision of Mr. (Jeffrey) Bastien for the rest of his life," said assistant Crown attorney Gary Nikota.

Bastien, 33, a repeat sexual offender, has been the subject of a dangerous offender hearing that has been sitting periodically since February 2008. The conviction that led to the dangerous offender application occurred in May 2006, when Bastien was found guilty of breaking into a teenage girl's home, sexually assaulting her, striking her and threatening her.

In the midst of the attack the Grade 11 student had the presence of mind to dial 911, while Bastien's attention was elsewhere. Police responded to the call and arrested Bastien within minutes.

Nikota told Superior Court Justice Terry Patterson that Bastien has a history of sexual deviance, impulsivity, substance abuse and a predilection for violence.

"He has an utter lack of empathy, an utter lack of understanding of the enormity of his conduct. He has no understanding that he could permanently scar these women's lives."

Nikota recapped the series of sexual crimes that recur in his criminal record, many of them committed shortly after being released from prison. "This is an individual who shows violent antisocial disposition. It is part and parcel of his soul, it would seem."

Bastien's lawyer Brian Dube said his client should not be declared a dangerous offender and should instead be sentenced to six years for the sexual assault.

"The number one thing, I think, is whether Mr. Bastien's underlying disorders are treatable or not treatable," said Dube.

He recalled a brief time when Bastien was being held at the Ontario Regional Treatment Centre in Kingston when his behaviour was kept under control.Dube recounted how Bastien was struck by a car at the age of five and suffered serious head trauma.

He referred to a number of other cases where people were declared dangerous offenders who were extremely clever, cunning, manipulative and evil. Dube said Bastien doesn't fall into that category because of his diminished mental capacity. "It's really a punishment of last resort."

(Update 11-21-09) Bastien, the self-described "rape hound," was put away indefinately by Canadian Superior Court Justice Terry Patterson on Wednesday, November 18. In Canada, dangerous offenders are detained indefinately, with review at the 7 year point and every two years thereafter. According to Justice Patterson, “There is a high likelihood that Mr. Bastien will not contain his sexual urges and will reoffend- There is a substantial permanent risk to the community.”

During 37 days of testimony over 21 months, Patterson heard from psychiatrist after psychiatrist who said Bastien suffers from mental illness, sexual deviancy and drug dependency. He attacks even when chemically castrated and his crimes show a troubling pattern of increasingly violent behaviour toward women. Patterson concluded Bastien, who suffered a head injury as a child and has a low IQ, needs 24-hour supervision and can’t be managed in the community.

Bastien has racked up 43 criminal convictions. In the past 15 years, he has had only one day of freedom, being on probation, in jail or in a psychiatric hospital for his entire adult life. Every time he is released from custody, he commits a new crime, often within hours.

A mother was attacked in a downtown Windsor, ON parking lot on the first day of her new job March 29, 1999. She had finished working when Bastien knocked her to the ground and groped her through her underwear. She escaped only because she punched Bastien in the head. She did it because “You think you’re going to get raped. You’re going to die. All I could think was who’s going to take care of my children.”

On Oct. 10, 2000, in Toronto, on the very day he was released from custody for the parking garage attack, Bastien grabbed a woman on the street, put her in a headlock and tossed her into a concrete flowerpot. Minutes before the unprovoked attack, Bastien had been in a Business Depot store, groping female customers on the buttocks.

Three weeks to the day of his release from Millbrook prison where he was in custody for the Toronto attack, Bastien was back in Windsor. He attacked three women in and around the same casino parking garage where he attacked his first victim two years earlier. He grabbed one woman’s breasts, simulated intercourse with a second woman and knocked a third to the ground, shoving his hands down her pants. He made himself out to be the victim, because the third woman bit his fingers when he forced them into her mouth.

Bastien was denied parole twice after bragging about his rape fantasies of pulling female guards through his prison cell. After he was released, he tried to grope a woman caseworker assigned to help him. May 5, 2006 marked the last day of freddom for Bastien, as he showed up, naked from the waist down in a teen girl's home. He followed her to her bedroom and beat her. She called 911, which recorded the attack, including the girl's screams.

“He has chosen to carry out increasingly violent offences against women. There is no other way to protect the public but a dangerous offender designation,” said Assistant Crown Attorney Gary Nikota.

The first parking lot victim, who still fears going alone to lots, said that “It breaks my heart that it happened over and over again. If they don’t keep him locked up, he’ll do this again and again, woman after woman.”

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