A man dubbed the “Marpole rapist” for assaulting numerous women more than 20 years ago — many of them in their Vancouver homes — has been granted day parole and is being released into Surrey.
Gary Singh had been jailed indefinitely for committing sexual offences against 11 women between January 1988 and August 1991, and was designated as a dangerous offender in June 1994.
In a November 2019 decision, the Parole Board of Canada granted the 64-year-old day parole while denying full parole, based on a recommendation from the Correctional Service of Canada.
The RCMP have confirmed Singh is being released into Surrey, but did not issue a public warning about his release or say when he will be arriving at a halfway house in the community.
Singh had already been granted day parole in 2006, but it was revoked in November 2007 after he was seen in the company of a woman believed to be a sex trade worker.
In the more than 10 years since he was re-incarcerated, the parole board said Singh had demonstrated a “continued openness” to addressing what the board members called his “sexual deviancy.”
However, the board also noted psychological assessments that determined Singh remains a moderate risk to reoffend, as well as a moderate-low risk for sexual violence.
“The psychologists believed your risk was manageable in the community under a highly structured and supportive day parole,” the board wrote in its decision.
The board added Singh has various sexual paraphilias — including an attraction to non-consenting partners — which experts said “cannot be cured, but it can be managed.”
Full parole was denied by the board, who told Singh he has “not demonstrated the sustained and predictable ability to manage your risk in the community for this expanded form of parole.”
Singh was convicted of seven counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual assault with a weapon and eight counts of break-and-enter.
The break-and-enters saw Singh enter eight women’s apartments in Vancouver’s Marpole neighbourhood while they were asleep, where he assaulted them. In many of those instances, he woke the women up, then held knives to the victim’s throats and threatened violence against their children.
Three other women were forcefully taken off the street and assaulted in dark, secluded neighbourhoods.
The women, who were all strangers to Singh, made victim impact statements at his sentencing describing ongoing fear and mental health struggles, along with trouble being alone in their homes and a “general inability to live life in a carefree way ever again.”
“This will be something you must manage for your whole life,” the board wrote.
No photo of Singh has been released by the parole board or the Correctional Service of Canada.
No warning has been issued by any police agency about Singh’s release, but reports in other media outlets indicate he may have been released into Surrey on Thursday, based on statements from a relative of one of the victims.
Global News has yet to confirm when Singh was released, and has reached out to the Correctional Service of Canada.
In an email, Surrey RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Elenore Sturko said the detachment has “not been authorized to release a public interest disclosure for anyone who may have been recently released on parole.”
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said in a statement that news Singh would be released into his city was “not only disturbing but infuriating to the people of Surrey.”
“Singh is a designated dangerous offender and I am frustrated by the lack of information coming from the RCMP,” the mayor said.
“For the safety of the people of Surrey, I believe that our residents need to be told where this prolific sexual predator is residing in Surrey. That information should be made available immediately.”
That prompted Surrey RCMP officer-in-charge Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards to release his own statement explaining why a public statement was not issued.
“Unfortunately, the threshold for a Public Interest Disclosure was not met in this situation for a variety of reasons including whether the individual posed an imminent threat, the recommended conditions, and the strong release plan approved by the Parole Board,” Edwards said.
He added he personally advised McCallum on two separate occasions that Singh would be released into the city, and that Singh will be electronically monitored to ensure he abides by his parole conditions.
“I share the public’s concern on this matter,” Edwards said. “I can assure the residents of Surrey that the correct processes were followed in this situation, and that we have a team specifically assigned to monitoring these type of offenders to ensure they do not breach their conditions or impact public safety in any manner.”
The parole board’s decision does not say when Singh’s release would take place, but said leave won’t be granted until Singh demonstrates that he can “transition into the community and focus on making community connections.”
Singh faces a number of conditions for his parole, including avoiding alcohol, strip clubs, sex trade workers, his victims and their families and his sister.
He must also report any sexual and non-sexual relationships with females, follow psychological counselling, and return to his halfway house by 6 p.m. every night.
—With files from Rumina Daya