Dangerous offender considered a risk to society
A man behind bars for the past 17 years after committing violent sexual acts against females hasn’t been rehabilitated, according to a Parole Board of Canada decision.
Following a review of Gustav Semigak’s case, the board decided late in December to deny the 58-year-old Nain resident full parole and day parole.
It is a decision Semigak is likely used to hearing having been denied every form of release since 2000 — four years after being declared a dangerous offender — in at least a half dozen parole reports.
Semigak has a long criminal history dating back 30 years and in many cases breached release conditions committing signature sexual, violent offences.
The indeterminate sentence he is serving is in relation to a sexual assault and sexual interference convictions committed against young girls between the ages of six and 11.
Upon conviction and sentence for the offences he was designated a dangerous offender.
“In the backdrop of your significant and persistent violent criminal history, including your dangerous offender designation, the level of risk you present to society — despite years of incarceration and having completed several programs and in the absence of a suitable release plan — the board is satisfied that you will, by reoffending before the expiration of your sentence, present an undue risk to society,” the decision states.
According to the board’s four-page document, a psychological assessment conducted in September 2013 concluded Semigak remains a high risk to reoffend in a sexual manner.
It was recommended he take part in specialized programming.
However, due to linguistic, cultural and educational impediments, the decision says he has yet to complete educational upgrading and a sex offender program.
It notes, he successfully completed the aboriginal offender substance abuse program in 2008 and no information suggesting a relapse in drug and alcohol use has come to the attention of correctional staff since.
He also engaged with institutional elders and has completed programs specifically designed for aboriginal and Inuit offenders, namely in the areas of spirituality and violence.
However, the decision says Semigak’s case management team “is of the opinion he has difficulty fully understanding and implementing the prevention strategies learned throughout the sentence.”
The board’s decision says he has been approved and is waiting to be transferred to an institution which offers correctional programming which would better satisfy his cultural and spiritual needs.
It says that no release plan was developed for day parole or full parole by Semigak’s case management team because it felt “no viable release plan to manage risk in the community can be developed at this juncture.”
The board stated while he has made progress in controlling his temper he has yet to gain insight into his violent behavior.
“This clearly indicates that further gains are required in your case and that the progress you have made is not sufficient to mitigate the level of risk you present to society,” the decision says.
During his risk assessment, the board noted Semigak has lived a dysfunctional life fraught with incidents of physical abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment, and was exposed to substance abuse early in life.
It says he endured hardships and injustices as well as poverty and segregation and was part of a forced family relocation.
“Your extensive and continuous criminal history which began early in life speaks to the likelihood which you could return to crimes,” reads the decision.
“Your criminal history which chronicles a pattern of violence and sex-related offences specifically towards young female victims, indicates the serious types of offences you are capable of committing should you reoffend,” the board concluded.