Bobby Zoe, a serial sex offender appealing his indeterminate prison sentence after being deemed a danger to the public in 2017, will plead his case to a panel of Court of Appeal judges in Yellowknife later this month.
Zoe, 38, was declared a dangerous offender in 2017 after being convicted one year earlier of sexually assaulting a woman during a break-in in February 2015.
Zoe, whose lengthy criminal record includes several break and enter offences, sexually assaulted the female victim as she slept before fleeing her Yellowknife home with cash.
He carried out the attack about a month after being released from North Slave Correctional Complex (NSCC) where he’d been serving a sentence for another break and enter committed in 2013.
The February 2015 assault led to the Gameti man’s fourth conviction for a sexual offence.
In 2012, he was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for attacking and sexually assaulting a woman in downtown Yellowknife. Zoe had recently been released from jail after completing a sentence for a sexual offence involving an underage victim at the time of the 2011 attack.
Zoe, who is currently imprisoned in Edmonton, is appealing both his sentence and his conviction in relation to the 2015 break and enter and sexual assault.
“I am not guilty of these crimes,” wrote Zoe in a notice of appeal filed shortly after sentencing in 2017. “I believe the judge made the wrong decision convicting me,” he continued.
Zoe appeared in NWT Supreme Court on Wednesday via video from Edmonton.
The court heard the Crown is grappling with the logistics of transporting Zoe to Yellowknife for the Court of Appeal hearing, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22.
Due to his status as a high-risk offender, commercial airlines won’t allow him to fly, prosecutor Brendan Green told the court, adding Air Canada had answered with a “hard no.”
Zoe would be required to be restrained during the flight, with his wrists shackled to his waist.
The court heard an RCMP plane as a mode of transportation is out of the question, as Zoe is fearful and anxious about flying aboard small aircraft. The Crown is still trying to fly Zoe from Edmonton to Yellowknife, with him appearing at the hearing via video as an alternative.
Zoe is representing himself on the conviction appeal, but he’s received legal aid and a lawyer to appeal his indeterminate sentence.
Zoe’s attack in February 2015, which he committed not long after being released from jail, prompted protocol changes from the RCMP. The force moved to begin alerting the public if a high-risk offender was about to be released into the community.