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

Just Posted

Charles Hawkswell, Commander, of the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron, presents a $1,000 cheque to the Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society. File photo
Comox removing moorage fees, hydro for Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society

Last year, the unit and society responded to more than 50 rescue missions in the past year

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

UPDATED: Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read