Man who sexually assaulted girl in Hay River deemed dangerous offender; sentenced to 14 years

Cody Durocher, 34, sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in 2014 — his fourth conviction for the same offence

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An Alberta man who sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in Hay River five years ago — leading to his fourth sexual assault conviction — was sentenced to 14 years in prison after being deemed a dangerous offender on Tuesday.

Chief Justice Louise Charbonneau designated 34-year-old Cody Durocher as a dangerous offender — a label reserved for perpetrators of serious violent and sexual offences who are found to pose a risk to public — following a hearing that spanned several weeks last year.

Prosecutors moved to have Durocher declared a dangerous offender following his fourth sexual assault conviction in 2016. He sexually assaulted two women in his home province in 2010.

Charbonneau sentenced Durocher to a 10-year supervision order following his release from prison. A supervision order, which shares similarities with a probation order, means Durocher will have to follow conditions imposed by the parole board once he’s released. He could, for example, be ordered to live in a half-way house once the 14-year prison term has expired.

During the dangerous offender hearing in June 2018, the court heard from experts that Durocher posed a high risk of reoffending if released — up to three times more than the “average” sex offender. One witness testified Durocher showed a pattern of victim-blaming, with little insight into why he committed the crimes.

Durocher’s lawyer, Jennifer Cunningham, sought to have her client designated as a long-term offender, but Charbonneau ruled he met all the criteria to be labelled a dangerous offender.

Charbonnneau expects to release a written decision in the coming weeks.

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