Adam Laboucan, pictured being escorted outside court in B.C. on June 18, 1999, was 17 when he was handed an indeterminate prison sentence for sexually assaulting a three-month-old boy in Quesnel. Laboucan now identifies as female and has changed her name to Tara Desousa. (Ross Mitchell/Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Adam Laboucan, pictured being escorted outside court in B.C. on June 18, 1999, was 17 when he was handed an indeterminate prison sentence for sexually assaulting a three-month-old boy in Quesnel. Laboucan now identifies as female and has changed her name to Tara Desousa. (Ross Mitchell/Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Canada’s youngest dangerous offender from B.C. denied parole; to be reviewed in 2021

Tara Desousa, then named Adam Laboucan, was 15 years old when she assaulted an infant in Quesnel

Canada’s youngest dangerous offender, who is from Quesnel, has been denied parole again – 24 years after first being put behind bars. The Parole Board of Canada says it will review the case in a year.

According to documents obtained by Black Press Media, the Parole Board of Canada made the decision on Oct. 21.

Adam Laboucan, who now identifies as a woman and has changed her name to Tara Desousa, was 17 years old when she was handed an indeterminate prison sentence for sexually assaulting a three-month-old boy in Quesnel in 1997.

Desousa is now 39 years old.

In October, Desousa’s lawyers provided written statements requesting the board consider directing correctional staff to develop a timeline for gradual reintegration into the community, as well as grant a conditional release on day parole with “extremely restrictive conditions with required staff supervision.”

However, the parole board said in its decision that Desousa has been generally “non-compliant” and “refused interventions” while in prison, being involved in physical altercations, drug use and other negative behaviour over the past two decades.

Psychological and psychiatric reports were also considered in the decision – including a most recent assessment filed in August 2019, which said that Desousa posed a relatively high risk of future violence. In that report, the psychologists deemed release on day or full parole would be premature, but was supportive of Desousa participating in escorted temporary absences in order to attend group or trauma counselling.

Desousa’s Indigenous heritage was also considered. The parole board heard that Desousa consumed drugs and alcohol at a young age, as well as suffered intergenerational trauma while travelling back and forth between the family home and foster homes.

Since being imprisoned, Desousa said she has worked with elders to use Indigenous teachings to help in dealing with stress management, anger and past trauma.

Desousa told the board her biggest risk is a drug addiction she developed while in prison.

The last time Desousa was denied parole was in 2017 – which was upheld during an appeal process in 2018.

In their most recent decision, the board noted that Desousa hasn’t been in any physical altercations since 2017, has been working to create appropriate boundaries around children and is working with a psychiatrist to handle stressors and address her issues around gender identity.

The board said it is mindful of the length of time served, Desousa’s young age at the time of the offence, the complexities of her mental health and cognitive challenges and the sentencing judge’s ruling that she only be incarcerated for the length of time necessary based on risk.

For these reasons, the board ordered a review for day parole in one year, pending an updated psychological risk assessment.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

crimeprison

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lisa Beare, the MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, was sworn in as a member of cabinet on Thursday, Nov. 26. (Special to The News)
MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows has a new cabinet position

Lisa Beare is the new Minister of Citizen’s Services

Email your cooking questions to Chef Dez at dez@chefdez.com.
ON COOKING: Mulligatawny is tough to spell but a tasty soup

Chef Dez offers up his version of a classic soup

Emma Davison, one half of Golden Ears Cheesecrafters in Maple Ridge, reflects on running her business in the year of COVID-19. (Scott Saunders/Special to The News)
OUTLOOK: Buying local imperative to agriculture businesses

Farmgate companies adapt to survive during early months of pandemic

Natasha Brayshaw’s acrylic on paper called Snowy Magic. (Vicuña Art Studio/Special to The News)
Representatives of MK Illumination light up Memorial Peace Park on Wednesday. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)
Maple Ridge decorating for Christmas

Lights and decorations going up in the downtown

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Most Read