A convicted child molester who was living in a Halifax halfway house until Monday is facing two new charges of violating conditions of his long-term supervision order.
Halifax Regional Police arrested and charged Michael Ray O’Brien, 50, of Gottingen Street, on Monday. He was arraigned in Halifax provincial court later in the day.
O’Brien is charged with breaching the order by failing to follow a treatment plan deemed appropriate by his parole officer and by failing to follow psychiatric counseling arranged by his parole supervisor and recommended by a medical professional.
O’Brien returns to court next Monday for a bail hearing.
O’Brien has convictions for sexual assaults on four children, including one case in which he was on probation and undergoing sex offender treatment.
Last month, the Parole Board of Canada recommended that he be charged with breaching a long-term supervision order for having Viagra in his possession that would negate the effectiveness of another medication he was taking to suppress his sex drive.
In 2001, O’Brien was declared a long-term offender and placed under a 10-year supervision order that bans him from, among other things, being around children.
In 2008, he was sentenced to 28 months in prison for breaching that order by developing a secret relationship with a young boy and his mother.
Convicted pedophile to be released
A convicted repeat pedophile described by officials as “predatory” and with a “propensity for violence” is getting ready to be released from prison again.
Michael Ray O’Brien is expected to get out Friday, but the Parole Board of Canada has ordered him to live at an undisclosed halfway house or “private home placement” and abide by several other conditions.
“These special conditions are deemed reasonable and necessary to protect society and to facilitate your successful reintegration,” the parole board said in a decision released Tuesday.
Without these conditions, “you could easily regress into former patterns of behaviour which will likely lead you to further criminal behaviour.”
Now in his 50s, O’Brien’s criminal history dates back to 1982 and includes several sexual assaults against children, including those he babysat.
He committed some of those crimes while out on conditional release and in treatment programs.
A judge in 2001 declared O’Brien a long-term offender, which is a designation meant to target sexual and violent criminals who are deemed a high risk to re-offend but who don’t meet the dangerous offender criteria.
He was placed on a long-term supervision order in 2006 and banned from, among other things, being around children for 10 years. But he violated that order in 2008 by having a relationship with a young boy and his mother, and was sentenced to 28 months in prison.
“Your relationships are often predatory in that you make friends with family and neighbours, selecting your victims and slowly winning their confidence before you take advantage of them sexually,” the parole decision states.
O’Brien, who previously admitted to more than 20 other sexual crimes against children for which he was never charged, meets the criteria for a “pedophile of the non-exclusive type” and is aroused by children and teenagers of both genders and adult males, the parole board report says.
He has also been diagnosed with “mixed personality disorder” and has “limited intellectual abilities,” the board said.
In 2011, Halifax Regional Police issued a public warning about O’Brien, who was considered a high risk to re-offend, and his release into the local community. A short time later, he was arrested and returned to prison for a couple of months after he again breached his long-term suspension order by visiting a Halifax church when children were present.
Although O’Brien was medicated to suppress his sex drive, he has“ continued to display an interest in sexual matters,” the parole board states.
Corrections officials found a packet of Viagra in O’Brien’s room at a halfway house in 2012 and discovered two pills were missing. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for again breaching his long-term suspension order.
O’Brien is eligible for statutory release, which by law must be granted unless corrections officials argue to keep the person in prison. As that did not happen in this case, the parole board is only allowed to impose conditions on him.
He was ordered to have no direct or indirect contact with the victims or their families; live at an undisclosed approved residential facility (leave privileges are not authorized); not be near any place where children under 18 are likely to be present “unless accompanied by an adult previously approved in writing by your parole supervisor;” not be in the presence of any child under 18 unless with an approved adult who is fully aware of his criminal history; not to access pornography or sexually explicit material of any kind; not to consume or possess alcohol or drugs; follow a treatment plan for “sexual deviancy;” take medication as directed; follow psychiatric treatment as directed and not associate with criminals.
O’Brien’s sentence for his most recent crimes expires Feb. 22, but he will remain under the long-term supervision order until 2016.