Supervisor sat in car while repeat B.C. sex offender victimized 11-year-old girl – Vancouver Sun

B.C. public safety minister Mike Farnworth says he ordered an investigation upon learning of the case
A provincially appointed supervisor assigned to monitoring a high-risk sex offender in Kelowna sat in the car outside an equestrian centre for 2½ hours while an 11-year-old girl was victimized by Taylor Dueck, B.C. United MLA Renee Merrifield alleged Tuesday.

“While children were arriving for after-school lessons, this convicted child molester’s supervisor sat in the parking lot, in his vehicle, for 2½ hours,” Merrifield, the MLA for Kelowna-Mission, said in the legislature, her voice shaking with anger.
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“The result was an 11-year-old girl being cornered and sexually assaulted in the bathroom by this predator.”

The RCMP has charged Dueck with sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and breach of probation, but not sexual assault.

The owner of the equestrian centre where the alleged offence took place on Feb. 9 said she did not know about Dueck’s criminal history when she agreed to let him participate in adult riding lessons.

“I feel not just misled but lied to,” said the woman, who did not want her name or the name of the equestrian centre published out of fear it could compromise the publication ban on the victim’s name.

She was told Dueck, 29, was developmentally delayed and would be under the supervision of a support worker from Community Living B.C., a B.C. Crown corporation that works with adults with development disabilities.

Dueck had been participating in riding lessons at the equestrian centre for months, despite the fact that the riding program primarily caters to children and youth. His probation conditions required him to be supervised when out in the community and he was not allowed to be near children or wooded areas, Merrifield said.
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The owner said she was not at the centre when the offence occurred but it happened in the women’s washroom. She was told the girl was able to run away before there was any physical contact.

The next morning, the equestrian centre owner found out about Dueck’s past offences. An RCMP officer told her: “I don’t know how this fell through the cracks, I have no idea how this happened. But I need you to understand who this man was and how dangerous he is.”

She said it was horrifying to find out about Dueck’s history of repeated sexual offences against youth.

“I can’t believe that it’s even a possibility that a dangerous child sex offender would be brought to me through a government agency — unknowingly to me of his history — and asked me to participate in his rehabilitation,” she said.

After learning about Dueck’s past, the owner asked the Community Living B.C. worker who signed Dueck up for the program if they knew about his history. The worker said yes, but they couldn’t disclose that information to protect his privacy.

Postmedia News has reached out to Community Living B.C. for comment but a spokesperson did not respond by deadline.

Postmedia asked the Public Safety Ministry who was charged with supervising Dueck, why he was taken to a location where children were present, why the supervisor remained in the car and whether the supervisor has been fired. The ministry did not confirm the involvement of Community Living B.C.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said after the case came to his attention last week, he ordered a full investigation into all provincial and federal agencies involved to find out exactly what happened.

The investigation will look into whether it was a “systemic failure, or was it a failure of an individual,” Farnworth said during question period.

Dueck was released on probation last June after completing a 12-month sentence provincial sentence for sexually touching a 10-year-old child. That offence happened in 2020 less than two months after Dueck’s release following a 4½-year federal sentence for sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon.

According to federal parole documents related to earlier offences obtained by Postmedia News, Dueck was denied parole in 2018 and 2022 because he posed a risk to the community. A psychological risk assessment found that Dueck posed a “well above average risk for future sexual offending.”

Because the sentence for the 2020 offence was served in a provincial jail, the Parole Board of Canada was not involved in Dueck’s most-recent release.

Merrifield, who has been in close contact with the girl’s family, said the fact that Dueck was released into the community without a public warning “is a complete violation of trust between this NDP government and those it is supposed to serve.”

Kelowna RCMP has also come under fire for failing to issue a public warning that Dueck was being released in June.

It’s a departure from the approach of other police departments, which did warn the public about Dueck. In February 2020, when Dueck was released from prison, Abbotsford police warned the public that he would be living in the community and was subject to conditions.

“At no point was anyone told about this predator’s criminal record, the condition that he have one-to-one supervision at all times and that he was not to be around children,” Merrifield said.

Kelowna RCMP spokesman Cpl. Michael Gauthier said the department requested a public interest disclosure but “the threshold was not met in this case based on the totality of the circumstances.”

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