Convicted child sex offender and former teacher Christopher Neil will be released from custody under strict conditions imposed by a B.C. judge in Richmond today.
Neil served five years in a Thai prison for sexually abusing two boys. He was arrested by the RCMP upon his arrival at Vancouver airport under a section of the Criminal Code which allows the court to place conditions on the release of people deemed likely to sexually assault children.
He has not been charged in Canada, but on Wednesday the judge in the case ruled the 37-year-old former Maple Ridge resident will be subject to 12 conditions for a period of 18 months when he is released.
The conditions include:
- No contact with anyone under the age of 16.
- No access to the internet by computer or phone.
- No access to school grounds or anywhere children might be expected to be found.
- Surrender of his travel documents.
The Crown asked for the conditions to be in place for up to two years, but Neil's lawyer argued for a shorter term of one year.
Neil's lawyer, Mark Thompson, said his client is not sure what he will do next.
"He's worked basically all his adult life," Thompson said.
"He can't teach children. I understand he was teaching English in the Thai jail, so he can teach adults. He has to get a job of some kind, whether it's just something that doesn't require contact with the public ... He does want to work though."
According to Thompson, Neil's family members in Maple Ridge, B.C., want nothing to do with him.
Arrested upon return
It is possible Neil could face future charges under Canada's sex tourism laws for other incidents international authorities allege to have taken place in Cambodia and Vietnam.
In 2007 Interpol alleged Neil appeared in about 200 images posted on the internet of a man sexually abusing 12 young boys, ranging in age from six to their early teens.
Neil was captured in Thailand after police used digital technology to unscramble images of a man's face in some of the images, setting off a massive international manhunt.