Tuktoyaktuk residents “should consider locking their doors at night” until officials can suitably treat a man who assaulted women and children as they slept in their homes, a Territorial Court judge warned this week.
Gilbert Katigakyok was sentenced on Wednesday to time served for his third such sexual assault.
He was placed on strict probation by Judge Donovan Molloy, who expressed dismay at the territory’s absence of “viable treatment options” for offenders like Katigakyok who have severe symptoms of a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or FASD.
Katigakyok, 25, is an only child. His mother, who attended residential school, drank while pregnant and for the first two years of her son’s life, the court heard.
A psychiatric assessment showed Katigakyok functions intellectually at the level of a child aged seven or eight.
When he leaves the North Slave Correctional Complex and returns to Tuktoyaktuk, Katigakyok will be bound by a curfew and ordered to report to a probation officer.
Katigakyok must report back to the court within 60 days to see if any counselling or treatment offered is helping, though Molloy found it unlikely any such options would be made available in practice.
“If no programs are identified, Mr Katigakyok will simply continue living in the same circumstances as he lived in when he surreptitiously entered three houses in Tuktoyaktuk and sexually assaulted sleeping female residents,” Molloy said on Wednesday, delivering his sentencing decision.
“[Corrections] affidavits confirm that there are no options within the Northwest Territories specific to sex offender programming. There are also no specific community resources available in Tuktoyaktuk to treat sexual offending behaviours.
“Hopefully corrections officials make suitable arrangements prior to Mr Katigakyok’s return to court in two months. In the interim, for their own sake and his, the residents of Tuktoyaktuk should consider locking their doors at night.”
Katigakyok had already snuck into a Tuktoyaktuk household and sexually assaulted an adult woman when, in March 2018, he carried out another assault on girls aged 11 and 12.
“Those victims were sleeping in a room with two other pre-teen girls when he snuck into the house and entered their bedroom,” said Molloy. “He left the bedroom when one of the girls said she was going to get the homeowner and father of two of the girls.”
Both sexual assaults involved touching outside the girls’ clothing.
Just 14 days after his arrest for sexually assaulting the two girls, he snuck into another house on April 1, 2018 and sexually assaulted an adult woman.
“Mr.Katigakyok knows what he did is wrong,” said Molloy, who said the three-year probation order he imposed on Wednesday could not adequately protect women and girls in the hamlet of 900 people unless Corrections Service officials can make the case a priority.
Molloy said the absence of alternatives could “increase the likelihood that a severely disabled man” will re-offend and could be imprisoned indefinitely as a dangerous offender.
“That outcome would cause Mr Katigakyok to disappear from society, but does absolutely nothing to address the underlying societal problems that lead to persons like him coming before our courts,” said Molloy.
“So often, once government agencies wash their hands and say we cannot do anything more with those with mental illness or cognitive deficits, they are swept into society’s dustbin for them: our prison system.”
‘You understand more than people think’
Katigakyok was sentenced to one year in jail for the two sexual assaults he committed by entering the house without permission. He had built up enough pre-trial credit to mean the sentence equated to time already served.
Molloy imposed a three-year probation, with terms that varied slightly from a joint submission earlier proposed by the Crown and defence. Katigakyok must:
- keep the peace and be of good behaviour;
- report to a probation officer within two business days from release;
- abstain from the consumption of drugs except in accordance with a medical prescription, of alcohol or of any other intoxicating substance;
- take a drug test if ordered;
- attend any and all counselling and treatments directed by the probation officer, including risk reduction programs for sex offenders and programs tailored to Katigakyok’s identified cognitive deficits;
- report back to court within 60 days and thereafter as directed to monitor the progress of the above counselling and/or treatment;
- have no contact or communication, directly or indirectly, with the four pre-teen girls in the house at the time of the offence;
- not attend within five metres of the residence or place of education of the pre-teens;
- abide by a curfew from 10pm to 8am;
- perform 100 hours of community service work during the first 18 months of the sentence.
- provide a sample for the national DNA data bank;
- abide by a 10-year firearms ban;
- have his details submitted for lifetime inclusion on the national sex offender registry; and
- not be in the vicinity of anyone 16 years old or younger, or use the internet, unless approved to do so by the court.
“Did you get all of that?” Molloy asked Katigakyok, who sat quietly in the prisoner’s box during the hearing.
“I understood that, your honour,” replied Katigakyok.
“I think you understand more than people think,” said the judge. “You keep doing what you have been doing and you will spend the rest of your life in jail.”