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B.C.’s ‘Paper Bag Rapist’ again denied parole at online hearing from Alberta prison

He was denied day parole and full parole by the two-person board
The Bowden Institution facility is shown near Bowden, Alta., on March 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A man who was once known as the “Paper Bag Rapist” has again been denied parole after a hearing from an Alberta prison.

John Horace Oughton, 74, was convicted in 1987 of two counts of rape, six counts of indecent assault and six counts of sexual assault with a weapon in British Columbia.

He was tagged with the disturbing name because he made his victims wear a bag over their head or wore one himself to mask his identity.

Oughton appeared Friday at the online parole board hearing from the federal medium-security Bowden Institution, where he’s serving an indeterminate sentence as a dangerous offender.

He was denied day parole and full parole by the two-person board.

“There’s been some lowering of your risk, likely due to your mobility issues and your age,” board member Janelle Jackiw said Friday as she delivered the decision.

She said, however, Oughton has not participated in high-intensity sex offender programming and has no release plan.

“There hasn’t been significant change since the last hearing to this hearing,” she said. “Overall, your risk is assessed as being unmanageable.”

Oughton, who was in a wheelchair, said during the hour-long hearing that he’s dying of heart disease and is also mentally ill.

“I suffer from a cognitive impairment,” he told the board. “When I’m not treated, I start to imagine things that aren’t real.”

The parole board has previously said it’s believed Oughton had between 30 and 140 victims, but he said Friday he believes there are a lot of mistakes in his file.

“I cannot defend anything I did,” he said, adding he believes he made up some of those victims. He also suggested that there were no weapons and no disguises during his crimes.

Oughton added that he’s been involved in a restorative justice program during his time in prison and met with some of his victims.

“I apologized to each and every one of them,” he said.

“When they left, they knew it was not a normal person who committed these crimes against them. It was a person who was mentally ill.”

Earlier parole board documents said that Oughton’s 14 sex-related offences on women and children took place in B.C.’s Lower Mainland between 1985 and 1987.

The Canadian Press

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