British Columbia

Larry Takahashi, serial rapist who targeted women in Edmonton, free on day parole in B.C.

Serial rapist Larry Takahashi admitted to attacking 29 women in Edmonton in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Now, the so-called 'balaclava rapist’ has been released on day parole in the Vancouver area, with several conditions.

Parole Board says 'risk to reoffend' is manageable, concerned by 'sexual fantasies about rape'

Edmonton's notorious 'Balaclava rapist' has been approved for day parole in the Vancouver area. (CBC News)

A serial rapist who targeted women in Edmonton decades ago is now free on day parole in Vancouver — though he's subject to several conditions.

Larry Takahashi's request for six months unescorted day parole was supported by the Correctional Service of Canada, which had actually recommended full parole.

'Your risk to reoffend is manageable on day parole and is not an undue risk.'- Parole Board of Canada decision

The Parole Board of Canada, which makes these decisions, denied him full parole.

But the parole board did approve day release with a number of conditions. In its July ruling, the board said Takahashi's "risk to reoffend is manageable on day parole and is not an undue risk."

Now 63, Takahashi hopes to find work in the Lower Mainland and has agreed to electronic monitoring.

'Balaclava Rapist'

Takahashi's crimes date back to Edmonton in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when women were being attacked by a man in a ski mask, who became known as the "balaclava rapist."

Takahashi, shown here in an undated file photo, was sentenced to three life sentences for a series of sexual assaults in Edmonton in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Arrested in 1983, Takahashi was originally charged with 70 sexual offences against 23 victims, including pregnant women and university students. 

As part of a plea bargain, Takahashi pleaded guilty to 14 charges: three counts of rape, six counts of forcible confinement and disguise with intent, and two counts of sexual assault with a weapon and aggravated sexual assault. 

The remaining charges were stayed or withdrawn as part of the plea deal, according to the Parole Board. 

"You admitted to having more victims than those in the crimes for which you were convicted," according to the Parole Board ruling.

According to the ruling, Takahashi admitted to "hands on" attacks of 29 women.

At a later time, stated the Parole Board, "you said it was possible that you had other victims whose charges against you were stayed or that you were not charged with."

Victims included students, pregnant mothers 

The evidence showed Takahashi followed women, broke into their homes and apartment buildings, threatened victims with a knife, and sometimes robbed them after the sexual assault.

You continue to have sexual fantasies about rape.- Parole Board of Canada decision

He sexually assaulted one mother in front of her children. 

He threatened to kill a pregnant woman during an attack. 

And his attack caused another pregnant victim to miscarry twins.

"You are capable of extreme violence," the Parole Board stated in its July ruling approving his partial release. "You planned and pursued the victims; you were a cold, callous sexual offender with no regard for the plight of the victims."

This month, board members also expressed concern "that you continue to have sexual fantasies about rape", but acknowledged progress because Takahashi had recently admitted it during a psychological assessment, instead of denying it.

Day parole subject to 11 conditions

Takahashi began serving three concurrent life sentences in 1984. Now, he'll be free during the day and return to a secure facility at night.

He'll also be subject to 11 parole conditions, including being prohibited from using drugs, alcohol, pornography, or computers.

He has to stay away from his victims and his victims' families and he's been ordered to avoid all college and university housing areas "to limit potential triggers."

He must also inform his parole supervisor of all relationships and friendships with females, and get permission before travelling with women in a private vehicle "to reduce the likelihood of you encountering an opportunity for victims."

Takahashi will also be subject to an overnight curfew, as his sex crimes occurred "in the early morning hours."

He's also been ordered to get counselling and treatment for sexual deviancy.

Arrested in 1983, Takahashi has done time at federal prisons in British Columbia. 

He's been granted more than 500 work releases, escorted absences, and temporary absences over the last decade.

The Parole Board noted he had recently earned the "trusted position" of being the prison driver, with clearance to refuel outside the prison gates, and had "not violated this trust."

Victims didn't attend hearing

But it hasn't always gone smoothly on the outside, according to the Parole Board.

At times, Takahashi broke rules and pushed boundaries. For example, he attended a community movie with violence against women, rented a car, booked a massage, drank alcohol, and spent time with another sex offender. 

In 2013, his temporary release to a Victoria halfway house sparked outrage in the community.

The Parole Board noted "extensive media coverage" of Takahashi's previous attempts to return to society 

No victims attended Takahashi's latest parole board hearing in person.

But the board took note of the "never ending devastating impact your crime has had. They speak to the horror you caused them."