Statutory release revoked for former Mountie convicted of child sex assaults
A former RCMP officer who molested three boys over a six-year period is back behind bars.
The allegations came to light in the fall of 2012, when police announced Arnold James Somers had been charged with sexual assault and sexual interference with a child under 14. The incidents dated back to 2006.
Somers retired from the RCMP in the 1990’s after he was convicted of sexually assaulting underage victims while in a position of trust in incidents dating back to the 1970’s.
In February 2014, Somers was sentenced to seven years in jail. With credit for time served, he had more than five years remaining.
His statutory release began last June and, by all accounts, it was going well and Somers had secured employment at a thrift store. But in new documents obtained by Global News, the Parole Board of Canada became aware of new allegations brought to authorities in February 2018.
“Your parole supervisor became aware that you were spending time with a 15-year-old male who was also volunteering at one of the thrift stores,” the board said. “You reportedly had requested shifts when the boy was also working, you had worked on projects with him and on one occasion, you had taken him out for lunch.”
Warrants were issued and Somers was eventually taken back into custody, where he was interviewed. He told the parole board he believed he had been setup by either his parole supervisor or staff at the thrift store.
“You indicated that you knew why you had been suspended and referenced your special condition not to be around children under the age of 18,” the board continued. “You indicated that the boy had offered to help you and that you did not think there was a difference between going to lunch with the boy and being in a public place where children happened to be.”
The board said Somers was upset by questions about a pair of binoculars found in his vehicle and hoped to be returned to his second-stage housing facility so that he could stay in his room until his sentence was complete.
At a hearing to determine if he could continue his statutory release, Somers said age didn’t occur to him when the boy started helping him.
“You indicated that you were not alone with him and that you felt it was fine as you were being supervised,” the decision read. “You admitted to leaving the facility with the boy and noted that you were in public at all times. You denied trying to arrange being on shift when the young boy was working and you denied being attracted to him.”
The board also noted that Somers, 75, takes full responsibility for his behaviour and that he realizes he could have done things differently. But the panel also expressed concern for the lack of oversight.
“The board is perplexed as to why the organization you were volunteering with would encourage a work partnership between you and a young teenage boy,” the decision stated. “It is extremely concerning that either you did not recognize the risk of spending time with someone who matches your victim pool or that you saw the risk and ignored it.”
It was because of that lack of insight into his risk and the breaking of his conditions that Somers’ statutory release was revoked. His sentence will officially end next March.
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.