Dangerous offender Darrell Moosomin denies escaping from Alberta healing lodge
Darrell Moosomin sits in a jail cell at the Edmonton Remand Centre Tuesday after a more than a week on the run.
It’s a stark contrast to the atmosphere he’s grown accustomed to at a minimum-security healing lodge in central Alberta.
Moosomin has been serving an indeterminate sentence as a dangerous offender. He’s spent the past year-and-a-half at Pe Sakastew. He escaped while out on an escorted temporary absence with an elder Aug. 13. He was at a powwow at the Samson Cree Nation in Maskwacis at the time.
Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of Darrell Moosomin’s escape
Now back behind bars, he appeared in Wetaskiwin court via CCTV Tuesday.
“I want to say I didn’t escape from that place,” Moosomin told a judge.
“I didn’t escape from the healing lodge. I just walked away.”
WATCH: There are growing demands for accountability from Corrections Services Canada after Global News revealed a dangerous offender walked away from an escorted temporary absence. Darrell Moosomin was serving his indeterminate sentence at a minimum security healing lodge. Global’s Nancy Hixt reports.
The Correctional Service of Canada granted the 54-year-old dozens of escorted temporary absences, even though the parole board rejected all bids for freedom.
Despite numerous issues while in custody, he was able to end up at a healing lodge—which ended up giving him the opportunity he needed to escape.
According to CSC, the goal of these healing lodges is not to make good inmates, but to properly prepare offenders for reintegration into society.
“I don’t want to go to a maximum security,” he told the judge Tuesday.
He attempted to plead guilty to a lesser charge, asking:
“What do you think, Your Honour? You’re the judge. I never scaled a fence. I never dug a hole. Would the Crown be willing to reconsider bringing it back to unlawfully at large?”
The charge of escaping lawful custody remains and the questions about how this could happen remain unanswered.
Canada’s prison watchdog maintains healing lodges work.
“I think it would be a mistake to abandon an entire program stream or limit opportunities for other individuals because something didn’t work in this particular case,” Correctional Investigator of Canada Howard Sapers told Global News.
Moosomin has approximately 74 convictions dating back to 1979, including sexual assault, assault with a weapon, obstructing a police officer and forcible confinement.
In 1994, Moosomin tortured a woman for eight hours. The victim was able to escape after he fell asleep, but suffered injuries and trauma to most of her body.
Moosomin’s escape is especially concerning for the people who live nearby the healing lodge, who wonder if he will one day end up back at the facility.
“Corrections Canada needs to look at how they do business. How are they allowing these people out into our community?” Samson Cree Nation Councillor Vernon Saddleback said.
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