Thursday, August 5, 2004
Judge recommends chemical castration
By Andrea MacDonald
COURT – Cesar Lalo walked out of court yesterday and into Canadian history as one of the country’s most prolific pedophiles.
Long-term offender: Cesar Lalo appears in court in 1993. (File photo)
Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Heather Robertson wants to ensure Lalo won’t reoffend. Robertson listed chemical castration as one of her 12 recommendations to the National Parole Board.
The treatment uses drugs to reduce the testosterone the body produces and can reduce sex drive to as low as five per cent.
Lalo received a five-year prison term for his “horrid, brazen, callous” sex crimes against 22 Nova Scotia boys, with 10 years of community supervision after that.
Robertson declared Lalo a long-term offender yesterday for abusing boys in his care between 1973 and 1989, after concluding there’s a reasonable chance he’ll eventually be able to control his sexual impulses.
Lalo, who turns 64 in October, worked as a youth-probation officer and as a child-protection officer in Halifax during those years. He’s originally from New Waterford.
The Crown sought to have him declared a dangerous offender, which would have seen Lalo jailed indefinitely. As a long-term offender, a convict is entitled to a fixed sentence.
Lalo showed little emotion yesterday as Robertson referred to a litany of crimes against teenage boys that included oral and anal sex, masturbation and fondling.
Four doctors who either interviewed Lalo or evaluated his case concluded he was a moderate or high risk to re-offend. Several talked about his lack of remorse and tendency to minimize his actions.
Lalo has been in jail since 1993, having served nine years for molesting seven other boys. All but two of his victims, who were between the ages of 11 and 17, were boys in his care.
The now-grown men gave heart-wrenching testimony over the years about an authority figure who preyed upon vulnerable boys.
“The evidence of the offences against these children provides compelling stories of horrid, brazen, callous acts of indecent and sexual assault, gross indecency, buggery and attempted buggery,” Robertson said yesterday.
She said many never recovered, and fell into lives of drug abuse and crime to support their habits.
Lalo’s sentence yesterday would have been nine years, but the judge gave him the standard double-time credit for the two years he has spent on remand.
He has already completed two sex-offender treatment programs.
Robertson called Lalo’s crimes “a despicable breach of trust,” but stressed he’ll be under strict supervision and scrutiny upon his release.
The defence team was not available for comment yesterday.
Victim satisfied with long-term offender designation
COURT - One of Cesar Lalo’s many victims attended yesterday’s sentencing to see what punishment his abuser would receive for his crimes.
The soft-spoken Halifax man, 41, first came into contact with Lalo while on probation at age 14 or so.
He thought he’d see Lalo locked up indefinitely as a dangerous offender, but said he was satisfied with the long-term offender designation.
“Just to bring closure to the whole thing means a lot to me,” he told reporters outside court. The Criminal Code prevents media from identifying the man, who appeared to be near tears when he talked about his past.
The man said coming to court was difficult and emotional, and he found it hard to listen to accounts of sex crimes against other boys like him.
“If this never happened, I believe my life would have been a lot more successful. My life has been very hard, a hard road,” the man said. He has sued the province over the abuse he suffered at Lalo’s hands.
Still, he feels the judge did the right thing in handing the convicted pedophile a fixed term of five years’ jail time and 10 years of community supervision.
“I believe that after talking with prosecutors and the detectives, (and) they all did an excellent job, that his life — like the judge says, if he lives that long — will be very strictly controlled. He won’t be playing any golf, that’s for sure.” - Andrea MacDonald