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Probation officer told to crack down if serial abuser breaches terms, inquest finds

“It’s my experience with abusers like this that he won’t respect at all.”

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A rehab worker who worked with Basil Borutski while he was in prison warned his probation officer that she should be tough on enforcing Borutski’s probation terms.

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“I am of the opinion that the victims are threatened by this individual,” said the email from the rehabilitation officer, read Thursday during an inquest into the deaths of three women Borutski killed about nine months ago. after his release from prison.

“It’s my experience with abusers like this that he won’t respect at all,” the email continued. “You will have to rape it, rape it, rape it and rape it forever.”

“Violation” refers to the consequences of failing to comply with the conditions of probation. The most serious consequence for offenders who breach conditions is a breach of probation charge. A conviction can lead to another prison sentence, according to the investigation.

Borutski repeatedly deceived and manipulated police, probation officers and other members of the justice system, but was never charged with breach of probation, the inquest found.

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Jamie Pearson, probation and parole quality assurance manager for Eastern Ontario, was on the witness stand for a third day Thursday in Pembroke.

Kirsten Mercer, an attorney representing End Violence Against Women Renfrew County, asked Pearson whether receiving this type of email would inform her judgment if Borutski begins to “squirm” about her probation terms.

“I believe so,” replied Pearson, who was a probation office for 11 years but was not a probation officer in this case.

Borutski was released from prison in January 2013 after serving less than 30 days. He had been found guilty of threatening to strangle Nathalie Warmerdam’s son, Adrian, and kill a pet.

On December 27, 2014, Borutski was released after serving 575 days in prison after beating and strangling Anastasia Kuzyk. In both cases, he was ordered to complete the Partner Assault Response (PAR) counseling program to help end violent and controlling behavior.

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On September 22, 2015, Borutski killed Warmerdam, Kuzyk, and Carol Culleton.

In early December 2014, shortly before Borutski was released from prison after being found guilty of attacking Kuzyk, Warmerdam considered seeking a protective order. She decided not to because she “didn’t want to get back into the offender’s attention,” according to the probation officer’s case notes.

Warmerdam’s fear of upsetting Borutski should have been a red flag, Mercer suggested to Pearson. He agreed, but, pressed by Mercer, admitted the case notes showed no follow-up.

Questions were also raised during an internal review as to whether Borutski should have been considered an “extensively supervised offender”, which would have resulted in increased supervision by his probation officer.

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Pearson said he would classify this as a “threshold” case.

Failure to attend the PAR program would result in a violation of his probation, but Borutski had many elaborate excuses as to why he could not attend even though he could make other appointments, the inquest found. .

Borutsky had often flouted his terms and shown contempt for the justice system. Earlier in the survey, clinical psychologist Dr Katreena Scott, an expert in violence against women, said flaws in the system signal to abusers that there will be no consequences for their actions.

Mercer asked Pearson when Borutski was allegedly raped. Pearson said it would come after an ongoing pattern of non-compliance. Mercer replied that anyone listening to the investigation or familiar with the case would have recognized that such a pattern clearly existed during Borutski’s two probationary periods.

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In May 2013, Warmerdam attended a high-risk case review with police, Crown and others involved in the case, fearing that Borutski wanted to move to Killaoe.

“A number of people have identified that they fought to get him out of the area and now he’s back,” Mercer said, adding that a police officer also reported Borutski “playing games with him.” the police”.

Even though Borutski was under a court order not to be in Bonnechere Valley Township, where the Warmerdam farm was, he still showed up at the edge of his property, which straddled the boundary. municipal.

It appeared Borutski was trying to push the envelope as far as he could and antagonize his victims, said Mercer, who noted that a number of people were concerned about Borutski’s decision to move.

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Eventually, the court decided to allow Borutski to move.

Warmerdam feared Borutski would go wild if he couldn’t move, according to the inquest.

In June 2013, while Borutski was awaiting a court date, he disputed the need to move with his probation officer, but Warmerdam was not told that Borutski was angry, even though it might have jeopardized his safety.

Borutski received an appointment with the probation officer a month later. He missed the telephone appointment on June 18, 2013. Under questioning by Mercer, Pearson admitted that this might have been a matter of concern.

Violations should be taken seriously, said Lisa Oegema, founding executive director of Renfrew County Victim Services, while outlining the recommendations she wanted the jury to consider.

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Victim services staff have often heard stories from victims and survivors about abusers who have violated terms but do not face dire consequences, Oegema said.

“He walked into his ex-girlfriend’s house and assaulted her. He’s been charged with a misdemeanor, but there’s no jail time,” she said. “She’s terrified at the idea of ​​him coming back in. He’s proven he can and there’s no real consequence.

Thursday was the last day for witnesses at the inquest. On Friday, the jury will hear the final conclusions. Deliberations are due to continue on Monday, with a verdict and recommendations expected on Tuesday.

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