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

February 17, 2021 - Kaelyn (L) and Costin Campbell are Goldstream News Gazette 2021 Local Heroes.
Pint-sized duo inspires others to be green

Costin and Kaelyn Campbell are this year’s Environmental Heroes

Erin Oldman received a scholarship through Royal Roads University (RRU), called the Legacy Award, which is given out once every five years. Oldman graduated from RRU with a Masters of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding, and is using the award to establish a charity called International Humanitarian Assessments, which helps people in war-torn areas of the Middle East. (Photo contributed by Erin Oldman)
Royal Roads University graduate receives $25,000 award

Erin Oldman will use the award to establish a charity in the Middle East

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from BC Ferries staff

After Dasher made a dash, staff in Comox found her and got her home safe

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read