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Parole board considers P.E.I. sex offender 'imminent' risk to re-offend

RCMP handout photo of Tyler James Bernard, 27. A notice from the police force says that Bernard is being released from the federal penitentiary on April 10 after serving a sentence for sexual assault. He is considered a person at high risk or reoffending.  ©THE GUARDIAN
RCMP handout photo of Tyler James Bernard, 27. -RCMP handout photo

A sex offender from P.E.I. is at such a high risk of re-offending that the Parole Board of Canada wouldn’t let him out of prison early.

Last week, the RCMP issued a warning about Tyler James Bernard, who was sentenced in 2016 to two years in prison for sexual assault.

Related: RCMP inform P.E.I. about high-risk sex offender

In June 2017, the Parole Board of Canada reviewed his file to determine if he should he held in custody instead of getting an early release before his sentence ended.

The board said it was satisfied that if Bernard was released early he was likely to commit an offence causing the death or serious harm to another person or a sexual offence involving a child.

Offenders who serve time in federal prison have several options for potential early release including day parole, full parole or statutory release.

For most offenders who are not granted parole they are let out early on statutory release with the parole board imposing conditions.

In Bernard’s case, the board ordered him detained until his sentence ended.

When the RCMP issued the warning, they said Bernard was scheduled for release from Dorchester Penitentiary this month.

Related: Lennox Island man gets two and a half years in prison for sexual assault

Bernard was sentenced after he pushed his victim to the ground in a wooded area and sexually assaulted her.

He had previous convictions for sexual assault and indecent acts involving children and women.

That included exposing himself to women and pre-pubescent girls.

In one case, he exposed himself to two women the day after the sexual assault for which he was serving the most recent sentence.

The board’s report said a sex offender assessment from 2016 estimated Bernard’s risk of re-offending in a sexual manner was high.

A psychological assessment from May 2017 concluded that risk was in the very high range when returned to the community.

The board said Bernard’s risk of re-offending in a sexual manner was assessed as “imminent” if he consumes alcohol and experiences acute negative emotions.

In its report, the board said Bernard denied being sexually aroused while committing his offences and he indicated he might commit them to get attention.

Bernard also identified himself as being a high risk to re-offend.

The board said Correctional Service of Canada assessed Bernard as an untreated sex offender with high risk and high needs.

Although the parole board noted Bernard made gains while in custody, it also said they were made in the “relatively sterile” environment of a federal prison where he was isolated from stressors, temptations and negative emotions he would encounter in the community.

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