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Offender to be assessed after admitting assault

Apr 11 2012

A Victoria man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges including sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and criminal harassment is being assessed as a long-term or dangerous offender.

Victoria provincial court Judge Adrian Brooks ordered a forensic assessment of the offender by an expert at the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission. The assessment is to be completed in the next two months.

The man's name has been placed under a publication ban to protect the identity of his victim.

He is to appear in court again June 7.

In court Tuesday, defence lawyer John Green told the court his client has been in custody for nine months. Green did not oppose the application for assessment by prosecutor Catherine Murray.

If the court is of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds to believe the offender may be found to be a long-term offender, the court must make the order for an assessment to be used in a sentencing proceeding, said Green.

He told the court his client had been assessed by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe. The report has been shared with the Crown, said Green.

The primary objective of the dangerous offender designation is to protect the public from offenders who have committed serious sexual or violent offences, except murder, and continue to pose a threat to society.

Dangerous offenders have been found guilty of a serious personal injury offence and have demonstrated a pattern of repetitive or aggressive behaviour that makes them a threat to public safety.

Those declared dangerous offenders are often in prison for life, although they are to be reviewed for parole seven years after being incarcerated, and every two years after that.

Dangerous offenders who are paroled are monitored for the rest of their lives.

If they continue to present an unacceptable risk for society, they will stay in prison for life.

Long-term offenders typically have been convicted of a serious personal injury offence and are considered likely to reoffend. Long-term offenders can be managed through a regular sentence, along with a specific period of federal supervision in the community of up to 10 years after their release.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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