Dangerous offender status has been upheld by Alberta’s top court for a man convicted of violently beating and sexually assaulting an elderly woman on her way to the grocery store.
In a ruling handed down on Thursday, the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the 2012 dangerous offender ruling of Jesse Peter Toews, 31, of Red Deer. The court said the crime he was convicted for was brutal as opposed to merely despicable. In effect, Toews will be held in custody for an indefinite period of time.
During his trial, Justice Monica Bast ruled Toews was a dangerous offender and should remain in prison until he no longer poses a threat.
Toews appealed the dangerous offender status on the narrow point of Bast’s ruling that the offence was brutal, a provision allowing for a dangerous offender designation. Instead, the appeal argued the crime was “merely despicable.”
The appeal court ruled that Bast’s ruling of Toews’ behaviour as brutal was justified.
Toews was convicted in 2011 in a brutal sexual assault of a 77-year-old woman who was on her way to the grocery store.
In 2009, Toews attacked the woman from behind while she was walking along a dirt path near the grocery store.
Toews quickly overpowered the smaller woman, covered her mouth with his hand and pulled down her underwear.
The woman begged Toews to leave her alone, offering him money, but the attack continued. She was rendered unconscious during the vicious attack and awoke alone on the ground in an area surrounded by trees.
Her face and clothing were covered in blood from a head wound, and she had cuts and a black eye.
She was taken to hospital, examined and treated.
Witness statements put Toews in the area at the time and his DNA was found on the victim’s underwear.
In 2011, during the dangerous offender hearing, a psychological assessment concluded that Toews is a psychopath with a very high risk of violent recidivism and a moderate to high risk of sexual recidivism.