UPDATED: Parole documents paint Obed as ‘opportunistic violent offender’
HALIFAX – Parole Board of Canada documents paint a violent picture of a convicted sex offender who is moving to Halifax.
On Friday, Sem Paul Obed, 43, was released from federal prison after serving a full two-year sentence for a violent assault on a bartender in Newfoundland. This was his third federal sentence.
Halifax police issued an advisory about Obed, who is considered high risk to re-offend, as a reminder for residents to be cognizant.
The incident in Newfoundland for which Obed recently completed his sentence involved him punching a bartender in the head, grabbing her hair and knocking her to the ground.
“Reports indicate you were sober at the time but were angered because she had refused to serve you alcohol. However, police believe you attended the bar seeking alcohol but when you observed the lone female bartender, you saw an opportunity to sexually assault her,” the documents read.
The documents state Obed has a criminal history that began at an early age. His record consists of sexual assaults, assaults with a weapon, attempted murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon.
Incidents include assaulting a man at a bar, a physical and sexual assault of a woman walking down the street at night, a sexual assault against a close family member and a sexual assault against a toddler, the last of which did not result in a criminal charge.
In one case, the documents read Obed attacked and sexually assaulted his victims, and “police believe you would have killed your victim if neighbours hadn’t intervened”.
“On another occasion, you attacked the residents, a couple, with a knife, had stolen panties from the residence and police believed you had planned to rape and kill the female victim whom you knew from school,” state the Parole Board documents.
“Your file describes you as an opportunistic violent offender with a pattern of violent sexual offending. You have no remorse for your behaviour or no empathy for your victims.”
The Parole Board states a psychologist recommended intensive psychotherapy and completion of a psychiatric assessment but Obed refused to participate in a sexual offender program.
“Your risk factors remain unaddressed,” the documents said.
“In the psychologist’s opinion, you have no insight into your criminality and show limitations to manage your sexual urges.”
The Parole Board found Obed has become desensitized to the use of violence and has not addressed the factors that fuel his violence.
Cst. Pierre Bourdages of Halifax Regional Police said there is nothing police can do to keep Obed in custody.
“He has served the time he was ordered to serve. The only way someone could be held in custody is if they have the dangerous offender designation, which in this case there is no such designation against Mr. Obed,” he said.
Police are not releasing where Obed will be living but add they will be keeping a close eye on the offender.
“There is no indication he will re-offend but he has been re-assessed as having a very high risk of offending again,” Bourdages said.
The Avalon Sexual Assault Centre said it is always concerning when sex offenders are released back into the public. Obed is just one of several sex offenders who have recently re-located to Halifax.
“We have to trust the system that’s in place and the monitors in place will properly work and that he won’t re-offend. We always worry that things aren’t fail-safe and if he’s a sexual predator, he will try to find a way around it,” said Susan Wilson, coordinator of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program.
Wilson is asking the community to support Obed, saying that he may be less likely to re-offend if there are community supports in place.
“We want to make sure we support him and not play into any vigilante behaviour.”
Obed is under conditions to avoid purchasing or consuming alcohol and to stay in his residence from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, call Avalon Sexual Assault Centre at 902-442-4240
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