High-risk offender with a history of violence charged in Halifax sexual assault

A man deemed a high-risk offender when he was released from prison four years ago is now facing multiple charges connected to an alleged sexual assault last Friday in Halifax.

Sem Paul Obed faces 6 charges, including choking to overcome resistance

Sem Obed moved to Halifax in 2014. (Police handout)

A man deemed a high-risk offender when he was released from prison four years ago is now facing multiple charges connected to an alleged sexual assault last Friday in Halifax.

Halifax Regional Police arrested Sem Paul Obed, 47, several hours after they were called to a residence on Cunard Street.

On Saturday, Obed was charged with aggravated sexual assault, choking to overcome resistance, uttering threats, break and enter, and two counts of breaching court orders.

Obed moved to Halifax in 2014 after being released from prison following his completion of a two-year sentence for assault causing bodily harm and breach of probation.

Halifax Regional Police Const. Carol McIsaac said police warned people then, but are limited in what they can do.

"We're bound by specific conditions, as well to when and how we notify the community that a high-risk-to-reoffend person is residing in the area," she told CBC News Monday.

"If the police could prevent any crime at any time from happening, we would definitely do that and certainly in this circumstance, if there would have been anything we could have done to prevent it from happening — it's such a tragedy — we would have."

Police say the sexual assault took place in a home on Cunard Street late Friday morning. (CBC)

Obed made a brief appearance in Halifax provincial court on Monday. He will remain in custody until another hearing June 20.

Crown attorney Carla Ball said aggravated sexual assault usually means a person was sexually assaulted and that assault left them wounded, maimed or disfigured. 

"It usually means there's been an injury beyond just a superficial one, and that's what the allegations are in this case," she told reporters outside the courtroom. 

Obed has than 30 convictions dating back to 1984. Those convictions included attempted murder, sexual assault and assault with a weapon. 

Upon his release, officials deemed him a high risk to reoffend. Parole board documents noted that Obed's crimes revealed a history of brutality and said that he had become "desensitized" to using violence.

with files from Preston Mulligan