Why wasn’t public told about Balaclava Rapist’s day parole?
Critics are questioning why the public wasn’t warned about the notorious Balaclava Rapist being released once again into B.C.
CTV News learned this week that Larry Takahashi, one of Canada’s most prolific rapists, has been granted day parole in the Lower Mainland, but there was no official announcement and it’s still unclear where in the region he’s staying.
When he was last released from custody into a Victoria halfway house in 2013, police in the city issued a public warning that he posed a potential danger to women and teenage girls.
“I think communities should be notified,” NDP public safety critic Mike Farnworth said. “This individual is being released even though he’s at a high risk to reoffend, and I think that’s particularly concerning for people here in British Columbia.”
Takahashi offended against at least 30 women in Edmonton in the ‘70s and ‘80s, developing a pattern of sneaking into homes and apartments and attacking victims while wearing a disguise, sometimes armed with a knife.
He attacked one woman in front of her children, and another while her family slept in the next room.
According to Parole Board documents, Takahashi has admitted he continues to have “sexual fantasies about rape” and that they are related to memories of his crimes.
“But you went on to explain these memories no longer lead to deviant thinking, rather to an understanding of the impact your crimes had on your victims,” the documents read.
The Parole Board also credits Takahashi for internalizing the responsibility for his offences, for spending years without committing violence, and for willingly participating in programs that have lowered his overall risk factor ratings.
But it still denied his application for full parole, finding he continues to pose a moderate-to-high risk of sexual and violent re-offending. He was instead granted day parole under nearly a dozen strict conditions.
It’s unclear why the public was warned during Takahashi’s release three years ago and not now, leading women’s advocates in Vancouver to call for more clarity.
“It is really troubling that there is no real transparency around how the decision is made about public notification,” said lawyer Raji Mangat of Westcoast LEAF. “That decision makes a huge difference in terms of how people feel around their own safety.”
Takahashi’s conditions include that he avoid alcohol, drugs and pornography, and be at home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. He also is forbidden to visit residential areas of colleges or universities or travel in vehicles with women, apart from transit.
He must report all relationships with women, including friendships, with his parole supervisor, and is required to participate in treatment addressing “emotional issues and sexual deviancy.”
Though the Parole Board of Canada wouldn’t say in which city Takahashi will be living, spokesman Patrick Storey said the offender will be under close supervision in a halfway house that’s staffed 24 hours a day.
“His presence in the community is completely dependent on his behaviour,” Storey said. “Parole officers… are very diligent. Public safety is their first concern, and they will intervene when they feel a need to intervene.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim