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St. John's sex offender loses appeal of request to be allowed in P.E.I. while on parole

Joseph Gordon MacRoberts has been unsuccessful in trying to get a condition of his parole changed.
Joseph Gordon MacRoberts has been unsuccessful in trying to get a condition of his parole changed.

A St. John’s, N.L., man who was living in P.E.I. when he sexually abused an underage girl has been unsuccessful in trying to get a condition of his parole changed.

Joseph Gordon MacRoberts was sentenced in 2018 to five years in prison for sex offences involving a victim who was younger than the age of consent.

Last year, the Parole Board of Canada granted MacRoberts full parole, which included a condition he not travel to P.E.I. unless it was for judicial proceedings and had his parole supervisor’s written permission.

MacRoberts appealed that condition, but the board’s appeal division denied his request to have it changed, saying the decision to impose a geographic restriction was reasonable and necessary for the victim and her family’s protection.

The appeal division also agreed the condition was reasonable and necessary to help with their recovery and well being.

MacRoberts pleaded guilty to two offences committed over a span of several years and included abuse that only ended when the victim reported it.

After he entered his plea, the court heard MacRoberts convinced the victim they were in a relationship.

The victim told the court she would agree to have sex with MacRoberts but didn’t like it.

She said she felt dirty and disgusting, and struggled with thoughts of killing herself.

POSSIBLE FUTURE EMPLOYMENT

During MacRoberts’ sentencing, P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Terri MacPherson said the extent of his moral culpability was high.

In appealing the geographic condition on his parole, MacRoberts said he has a close aunt, friends and possible future employment in P.E.I.

He also said he had no intention or desire to contact the victim or her family.

The appeal division noted in its decision that a recent assessment determined the criteria for serious harm was met in MacRoberts’s case.

In its decision, the appeal division said the parole board’s analysis was consistent with the law and board policy.

It also found the information the parole board considered in imposing the condition was reliable, relevant and persuasive.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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