Nova Scotia

U.S. judge turfs William Shrubsall's bid to have bail jumping charge tossed

An American judge has ruled William Shrubsall's right to a speedy trial on a bail jumping charge in New York state wasn't violated and the reason for the delay was because the notorious sexual predator fled to Canada.

Sex offender was incarcerated in Canada, but was deported to U.S. where he's serving time, facing trial

In this Jan. 22, 2019, photo, a law enforcement officer leads William Shrubsall through the Niagara County Court House in Lockport, N.Y. (Tim Fenster/The Union-Sun & Journal via AP)

An American judge has ruled William Shrubsall's right to a speedy trial on a bail jumping charge in Niagara Falls, N.Y., wasn't violated and the reason for the delay was because he fled the country to Canada.

The notorious sexual predator was on trial in New York state in 1996 for sexually assaulting a teenage girl. While on bail during the trial, he left a suicide note and fled to Halifax.

In Halifax, Shrubsall lived under several aliases and committed a string of violent crimes and brutal sex assaults before he was apprehended in June 1998.

Shrubsall was designated a dangerous offender by a Nova Scotia judge in 2001, was granted parole late last year and was deported to the U.S. in January.  He is currently facing a bail jumping charge in New York state and is serving time for the 1995 sexual assault.

Shrubsall, 48, had argued the bail jumping charge should have been thrown out on the grounds there was an "unjustified delay in prosecution" and that his fifth and sixth amendment rights had been violated.

What the judge ruled

In a written decision released Monday, Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. wrote that New York authorities "diligently pursued deportation" of Shrubsall, who now goes by the name of Ethan Simon Templar MacLeod.

"Though a lengthy delay, the initial reason must be laid solely at the defendant's feet," wrote Kloch. "He failed to appear for trial in New York; fled to Canada; committed and was convicted of several violent crimes and received a lengthy term of incarceration at the hands of the Canadian authorities."

Kloch said Shrubsall's case "has not been prejudiced by the delay."

The decision to grant Shrubsall parole in Canada was met with outrage by his victimsNova Scotia's justice minister, the Crown attorney who prosecuted Shrubsall and the lead detective who worked his case.

The parole board's decision noted Shrubsall is "a high risk to reoffend sexually and that there is no institutional programming that would reduce [his] risk to a point where it would be manageable in the community." 

Inquiries by CBC News to the Parole Board of Canada, the federal Justice Department and Public Safety Canada all failed to produce a clear answer on why Shrubsall was paroled.​

How much prison time Shrubsall faces

Shrubsall faces up to seven years in a U.S. prison for the Niagara Falls sexual assault. If convicted of bail jumping, he is expected to serve an additional 2⅓ to seven years. It would bring his total time behind bars in the U.S. to between four years and eight months and 14 years.

However, Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek, who is prosecuting Shrubsall's bail jumping charge, said the most likely scenario is that Shrubsall will be released in fewer than five years, assuming he serves time for both charges.

Shrubsall's lengthy criminal record dates back to his teenage years. In 1988, at age 17, he beat his mother to death with a baseball bat the night before his high school graduation, where he was to be the valedictorian.

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