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Sex offender 'a threat' to children

Kent Driscoll & Jennifer Geens
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Nov 06/06) - Child rapist Jason Hikoalok is scheduled to be released from prison today, and Iqaluit RCMP are warning the public to watch their children.

"The RCMP believe there is a significant risk to the safety of the public, particularly young persons," is the wording of a RCMP press release.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Jason Hikoalok is due to be released from federal prison today after eight year behind bars for the rape of a five-year-old girl. - photo courtesy of Iqaluit RCMP

Hikoalok has spent eight years in federal prison for his sex crimes against children. He is now bound for Iqaluit.

A 26 year-old Inuk male with brown eyes and black hair, Hikoalok is 160 cm tall (5'3") and weighs 69 kg (152 pounds).

"I've been in Nunavut since 1999 and this is the first warning like this that I can remember," said Sgt. Mike Toohey.

"It is not something we do lightly," he said. "It is his history, the types of crimes, his response in custody. Does this guy pose a threat? Absolutely, that's why we put this out."

A civilian member of the RCMP in Yellowknife, where Hikoalok was originally to be released, got a court order restricting his freedoms for one year. Among other conditions, he is not allowed contact with anyone 14-years-old or younger, and cannot go within 10 metres of anywhere that kids gather. Examples listed by the police include daycares, schools, swimming pools or libraries. He is bound by those rules until Nov. 6, 2007.

In Cambridge Bay on June 6, 1998, Hikoalok barred the door to a residence with wooden studs and raped a five-year-old girl he was babysitting. The girl was found in bed, naked, wrapped in a towel and bleeding from the vagina. She was medevaced to Yellowknife and needed sutures for vaginal tearing.

Sentenced when he was 18-years-old, Hikoalok has spent his adult life behind bars. In his 1998 sentencing decision, NWT Supreme Court Justice John Vertes said a psychological assessment had found Hikoalok was "a grave threat to society."

His pre-sentencing report paints a chilling portrait of an unrepentant child molester.

"Jason does not seem to feel any remorse for his current conviction of sexual assault," the report reads. "When asked how he felt about his sexual offence, Jason replied, 'I don't care.' When the writer enquired about if he at least felt sorry for the victim, he responded with, 'No, I really don't give a shit.'"

The same 1998 document states that he had consistently refused treatment.

"Even when he does attend sexuality counselling, he is unresponsive and appears disinterested," the report reads, but it is not clear whether he ever took part in counselling during his eight-year prison term.

According to the pre-sentencing report, Hikoalok is the product of "an extremely dysfunctional family." His father murdered his mother in December 1987, and he may have witnessed the murder or found the body.

In and out of group homes most of his life - from Calgary to Cambridge Bay, Saskatchewan and Fort Smith - he once set himself on fire while in custody.

The June 6, 1998 child rape happened while Hikoalok was awaiting trial on another crime. He was charged with placing his finger inside the vagina of a four-year-old girl on May 19, 1998, causing pain to the child.

RCMP do not know where Hikoalok will be living in Iqaluit. His flight was due to depart Yellowknife on Monday morning and arrive in Nunavut's capital on Monday afternoon.