Michael Rafferty, co-killer in Tori Stafford murder, moved from maximum to medium security facility
Instead, the father of his victim says, he has now been told Rafferty is in a medium-security facility.
Rodney Stafford says he learned about the transfer earlier Monday from Correctional Service Canada.
He then posted on Facebook announcing the move and expressing anger at the decision.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was asked about the news in question period Monday but would not comment directly.
WATCH: Goodale says families of victims are notified if criminals are moved to lower security prisons
“I will examine the facts of this case to ensure that all the proper rules and procedures have been followed and that Canadians are safe.”
Goodale’s office later provided a statement assuring that the correctional facility is suitable for Rafferty’s incarceration.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Tori Stafford for the unspeakable tragedy they have suffered,” the statement began.
“The number one priority of the correctional system is public safety.
“As Minister Goodale undertook in the House to confirm, Michael Rafferty is incarcerated in La Macaza Institution, a secure correctional facility that specializes in dealing with sex offenders. La Macaza’s buildings are fully surrounded by a guarded double fence that is 3.6m high, equipped with advanced security systems, both physical and electronic.”
Goodale’s office also provided these two photos of the facility:
WATCH BELOW: Rodney Stafford says Terri-Lynne McClintic is back behind bars
Rafferty and McClintic are both serving life sentences with no chance of parole for 25 years for the brutal murder of Stafford in 2009.
McClintic, however, could be eligible for release after serving just 15 because she was plead guilty and was sentenced in 2010, prior to the elimination of what is known as the faint hope clause.
She had originally been received a maximum-security classification but that was downgraded to medium-security in 2014.
Earlier this year, she was transferred from Grand Valley Institute for Women, a prison facility in Kitchener, Ont., to the Okimah Ohci healing lodge in Saskatchewan.
That sparked political backlash after it became public in September 2018, with family members of McClintic telling Global News in exclusive interviews that she was not Indigenous and should not have been allowed to transfer into the facility.
WATCH BELOW: McClintic’s brother criticizes her transfer to healing lodge in exclusive interview
Following months of criticism that saw Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accuse Conservatives questioning the transfer of being “ambulance-chasing politicians,” the government announced on Nov. 7 it was changing the rules that allowed McClintic to be transferred in the first case.
In addition, it was introducing new criteria so that cases like hers could be reassessed.
The next day, Stafford announced he had been told McClintic had been moved out of the healing lodge and back into prison in Edmonton.
She has since been transferred back to the Grand Valley Institute for Women.
Unlike McClintic though, Rafferty was sentenced after the elimination of the faint hope clause.
That means his sentence of life with no chance of parole for 25 years stands as is.
Jurors convicted Rafferty of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and murdering Stafford and the horrific details that emerged during his trial caused one juror to take the Ontario government to court after she claimed she got post-traumatic stress disorder from serving on the jury.
Rafferty later tried and failed to appeal his verdict, having attempted to shift the blame solely onto McClintic.
McClintic, who had been Rafferty’s girlfriend at the time of the murder, had been the key witness against him in his 2012 trial.
His appeal was argued before the Ontario Court of Appeal in November 2016 and was dismissed the same day, with the judge writing there was “no air of reality” in Rafferty’s claim that he was only an accomplice to a murder he had argued was carried out by McClintic.
With files from Global News’ Abigail Bimman.
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