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Dangerous offender hearing adjourned
Psychiatrist tells court he believes Fort Providence man is at high risk for reoffending

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Monday, May 6, 2013

A 34-year-old Fort Providence man charged with sex crimes appeared in Supreme Court of the NWT last week for a dangerous offender hearing.

Robert Walter Bonnetrouge has been in jail since 2009 on charges of two counts of forcible confinement and sexual assault against two teenage girls. He was convicted on Sept. 22, 2011.

During the five-day proceeding, which began April 29, the court heard from medical professionals and parole officers from Yellowknife and Edmonton.

Crown prosecutor Susanne Boucher summed up the doctors' testimonies at the end of the week.

According to Boucher, psychiatrist Dr. Scott Woodside said he believes, if Bonnetrouge was let out, there would be a high risk of him re-offending with a sexual offence. Woodside also doubted the effectiveness on Bonnetrouge of a sex-offender program.

Were Bonnetrouge allowed out on the basis that he participate in such a program, Woodside said, it would have to continue for his entire life.

The defence's witness, psychologist Dr. Marc Nesca, said on the other hand that he believes there is a reasonable possibility the risk could be controlled. As Bonnetrouge grows older, his chances for re-offending grow less likely, Nesca stated. He also suggested chemical castration could prove effective.

In making the dangerous offender application the Crown considered Bonnetrouge's seven convictions for

sexual offences and the circumstances of the crimes, among other information.

"We received a psychiatric assessment and it was the result of the psychiatric assessment combined with those things that prompted our application," said Boucher.

The hearing is not expected to continue until July 17. The judge gave an adjournment to give lawyers extra time to review the lengthy testimonies and file written submissions before making their closing arguments.

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