No sex disorder treatment available for Nunavut offender
Lawyers spent 4 months trying to line up recommended help for 22-year-old
A Nunavut offender with potential sex disorders will go without treatment after lawyers spent months trying to find him help, with no success.
The 22-year-old man is identified only as Mr. Q in a decision by Nunavut Justice Sue Cooper delivered on Friday.
"When one considers that Mr. Q's circumstances are not unique, the long term consequences to our society are dispiriting," she wrote.
The man had pleaded guilty to five charges dating back to 2013 including breach of probation and a pair of break and enters where he stole female underwear. He has a prior conviction for sexual assault.
"Mr. Q wants treatment and wants to stop the offending behaviour," Cooper wrote.
"Left untreated, he is at moderately high risk to reoffend. There may be more victims, who will have their own trauma to deal with and may or may not be able to access counselling."
One evening in late August 2013 or early September, the man entered an unlocked home and took some underwear belonging to a nine-year-old girl along with her mother's underwear and masturbated with it.
The underwear was spotted sometime later by the home owner underneath the stairs of her home. Another pair of women's underwear that did not belong to anyone living in the home was found inside.
The situation is similar to having a medical doctor diagnose a broken leg, recommend a cast, and then not have the resources available to put on a cast.- Nunavut Justice Sue Cooper
Days later in another home, a woman awoke to find the man in her bedroom. He asked her if he could use her phone. She agreed but he left without making a call.
After pleading guilty in March 2014, Mr. Q. was ordered to undergo a court-ordered psychological assessment to determine his risk for reoffending and to provide recommendations for treatment.
Results from the tests concluded the man had a moderately high risk of sexual recidivism but a low risk of criminal recidivism. There was also a concern he has one or more sex disorders.
The assessment recommended sex offender treatment.
No treatment available
"Under such circumstances the sentencing decision should emphasize rehabilitation as that is in the best long term interests of both the offender and the community," Cooper wrote.
"However, I am advised that there is no treatment available. Essentially, what we have accomplished through the court process is to simply diagnosis and label a problem, but nothing further.
"The situation is similar to having a medical doctor diagnose a broken leg, recommend a cast, and then not have the resources available to put on a cast."
Mr. Q's defence counsel spent four months trying to line up treatment and was commended by Cooper for doing so.
His lawyers initially contacted the psychiatrist who conducted the first assessment, but he told them he was unable to provide treatment.
His lawyers then contacted the Northern Psychiatric Outreach Program at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health in Toronto, canvassed psychiatrists from down south to inquire about tele-health options and inquired at the community level to see what resources were available.
Lawyers were told the CAMH outreach program was not capable of providing the specialized treatment and given the long wait list for specialized sexual behaviour intervention, it was unlikely anyone would be able to. General counselling was available at the local level but sexual behaviour counselling was not.
"Having exhausted my efforts ... I have been unable to secure counselling," wrote Mr. Q's defence lawyer Julie Bedford in an affidavit filed to the Nunavut Court of Justice.
GN declines response
In January, the court sent Bedford's affidavit to the deputy ministers of Nunavut's health and education department, inviting them to respond.
In early February, both departments declined to respond.
"The sentencing options available to me are somewhat restricted," Cooper wrote.
"One option is to impose a period of custody. Another option is to impose a period of probation. The option of imposing a jail term to be served in the community, which would give Mr. Q the opportunity to further demonstrate his ability to not engage in criminal behaviour, is not available to me."
Mr. Q. was sentenced to 120 days in jail followed by 18 months probation.