Adam Laboucan, pictured being escorted outside court in B.C. on June 18, 1999, was 17 when he was handed an indeterminate prison sentence for sexually assaulting a three-month-old boy in Quesnel. Laboucan now identifies as female and has changed her name to Tara Desousa. (Ross Mitchell/Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Adam Laboucan, pictured being escorted outside court in B.C. on June 18, 1999, was 17 when he was handed an indeterminate prison sentence for sexually assaulting a three-month-old boy in Quesnel. Laboucan now identifies as female and has changed her name to Tara Desousa. (Ross Mitchell/Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Canada’s youngest dangerous offender from B.C. denied parole; to be reviewed in 2021

Tara Desousa, then named Adam Laboucan, was 15 years old when she assaulted an infant in Quesnel

Canada’s youngest dangerous offender, who is from Quesnel, has been denied parole again – 24 years after first being put behind bars. The Parole Board of Canada says it will review the case in a year.

According to documents obtained by Black Press Media, the Parole Board of Canada made the decision on Oct. 21.

Adam Laboucan, who now identifies as a woman and has changed her name to Tara Desousa, was 17 years old when she was handed an indeterminate prison sentence for sexually assaulting a three-month-old boy in Quesnel in 1997.

Desousa is now 39 years old.

In October, Desousa’s lawyers provided written statements requesting the board consider directing correctional staff to develop a timeline for gradual reintegration into the community, as well as grant a conditional release on day parole with “extremely restrictive conditions with required staff supervision.”

However, the parole board said in its decision that Desousa has been generally “non-compliant” and “refused interventions” while in prison, being involved in physical altercations, drug use and other negative behaviour over the past two decades.

Psychological and psychiatric reports were also considered in the decision – including a most recent assessment filed in August 2019, which said that Desousa posed a relatively high risk of future violence. In that report, the psychologists deemed release on day or full parole would be premature, but was supportive of Desousa participating in escorted temporary absences in order to attend group or trauma counselling.

Desousa’s Indigenous heritage was also considered. The parole board heard that Desousa consumed drugs and alcohol at a young age, as well as suffered intergenerational trauma while travelling back and forth between the family home and foster homes.

Since being imprisoned, Desousa said she has worked with elders to use Indigenous teachings to help in dealing with stress management, anger and past trauma.

Desousa told the board her biggest risk is a drug addiction she developed while in prison.

The last time Desousa was denied parole was in 2017 – which was upheld during an appeal process in 2018.

In their most recent decision, the board noted that Desousa hasn’t been in any physical altercations since 2017, has been working to create appropriate boundaries around children and is working with a psychiatrist to handle stressors and address her issues around gender identity.

The board said it is mindful of the length of time served, Desousa’s young age at the time of the offence, the complexities of her mental health and cognitive challenges and the sentencing judge’s ruling that she only be incarcerated for the length of time necessary based on risk.

For these reasons, the board ordered a review for day parole in one year, pending an updated psychological risk assessment.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Crimeprison

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two of the weapons seized in a Nov. 8 traffic stop in Black Creek. Photo supplied by RCMP
RCMP seize guns, drugs in Black Creek traffic stop

Two arrested in connection with incident

The Island Aurora arrived in Port McNeill on Sunday, June 14. (Gaby Wickstrom Facebook photo)
BC Ferries to trial two-ship service on Campbell River – Quadra Island route

BC Ferries’ newest vessel, Island Aurora, will sail on the Campbell River… Continue reading

Group physical activities have been suspended at Campbell River facilities. File photo by Marc Kitteringham - Campbell River Mirror.
Group physical activities suspended at Campbell River sports facilities

Classes and programs suspended at Strathcona Gardens, Sportsplex and Community Centre

The North Island 9-1-1 Corporation (NI911) has supported local residents for 25 years. Black Press file photo
North Island 911 looks to change how they get funding

Three options to be decided upon in early 2021

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Most Read