When David Guy Parent opened a video game shop in July 2017, he wasted no time grooming an easy target, a vulnerable boy lured by games and what he thought was friendship.
The boy’s horrors unfolded in a back room almost every day that summer.
The neighbourhood children knew a lot about the video games, but nothing about the shop owner, let alone his dark history.
Parent had convictions from the early 1990s and 2000s for raping a six-year-old girl repeatedly over a period of time and for molesting nine- and 10-year-old girls and two teen boys.
He was convicted of sexual assault, sexual interference, and invitation to sexual touching in the 2017 case at the video shop.
The Crown Attorney’s Office has applied to have him declared a dangerous offender out of fear he’ll exploit more children. The dangerous offender hearing had been scheduled to start Monday, but it has been derailed because Parent no longer has a lawyer.
While Parent was last arrested in October 2017 and convicted in October 2018, he was spared jail until July 2019, when Assistant Crown Attorney Sabrina Goldfarb successfully applied to have his bail revoked after a psychiatric assessment showed he was at a high risk to re-offend.
According to one risk assessment instrument, Parent is at the 99.1 percentile, meaning only 0.9 per cent of Canadian sexual offenders would be at a higher risk to re-offend.
Parent was on bail for 21 months, under house arrest, without any reported breaches of his release conditions.
The decision to revoke bail post-conviction, particularly in the absence of breach charges, is exceptional.
“In my view, detention of Mr. Parent is necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice. He has been convicted of serious offences, preying on a vulnerable victim. He will undoubtedly be serving a lengthy term of imprisonment,” Ontario Court Justice Peter Doody said in a July 24 decision.
The judge noted Parent’s serious record for similar crimes against children and said:
“In my opinion, the requisite reasonable person would lose confidence in the administration of justice if he were not detained pending his sentence determination.”
Parent didn’t take the stand in his own defence at his latest trial. His mother testified in his defence, but the judge said he found her evidence unbelievable.
The boy detailed the sexual assaults against him to police and later at trial.
“Like my mom always asked why I want to go to that store. It’s because, like, for some reason in my head I always hear that one voice,” he testified.
The boy also told court he started cutting himself after the sexual abuse.
“I couldn’t take it anymore,” the boy said.
If Parent is branded a dangerous offender, he could receive an indeterminate sentence that would be reviewed by the parole board in seven years and every two years after that.
The dangerous offender hearing has yet to be rescheduled.
File photo of David Guy Parent.