MLA Merrifield enraged over supervisor who sat in a car while sex offender reoffended | News | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

A convicted sex offender was able to allegedly victimize a Kelowna girl because his supervisor sat in his car outside the equestrian centre where the incident is said to have occurred, Kelowna-Mission BC United MLA Renee Merrifield says.

And the fact the Kelowna community was not notified in advance about the release of Tayler Dueck is a “complete violation of trust between this NDP government and those it is supposed to serve,” Merrifield said Tuesday in the legislature.

“While children were arriving for after-school lessons, this convicted child molester’s supervisor sat in the parking lot, in his vehicle, for 2-1/2 hours,” a visibly angry Merrifield said.

“The result was an 11-year-old girl being cornered and sexually assaulted in the bathroom by this predator,” she said. “How can this NDP government have allowed this total failure to happen? And who is going to take responsibility for this complete and utter failure so it never happens again.

Dueck, 29, has been charged with sexual interference, invitation to touching and breach of probation.

In response to Merrifield’s questions, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth noted the government had already ordered a complete investigation into the Feb. 9 incident.

“When this came to our attention last week, the first thing I did was, one, express our extreme disgust and anger at what has taken place, and immediately order a full investigation, an accounting, of all provincial, federal agencies involved, and officials involved, to get to the bottom and find out what happened. Whether it was a systemic failure or was it a failure of an individual. That work is underway to ensure that this never happens again,” Farnworth said.

“So this government most certainly has taken action,” Farnworth said.

In a follow-up comment, Merrifield said: “Someone has to be accountable. This 11-year-old girl deserves better. Our community is traumatized,” she said.

“Our community is not going to be protected by some investigation and analysis and report. People are sick and tired of the premier and his ministers feigned indignation in the face of horrific failures that leave innocent people victimized,” Merrifield said.

“Make no mistake. The premier and this NDP government, they’re the ones, they’re the architects of the system. The premier was the former attorney-general and is now premier. It’s under his watch that the system prioritized this sexual predator’s privacy over the safety and well-being of our children,” Merrifield said.

Attorney-General Niki Sharma said she heard the “passion and anger” in Merrifield’s comments and said she “shared that anger.”

“An 11-year-old child has been hurt and we as a government take that extremely seriously. We need to get to the bottom of it, we need to find out what happened, to make sure that this never happens again in this province to another child,” Sharma said.

Dueck has a long criminal history involving sexual offences, children, and a weapon. Despite that, no warning was issued by Kelowna police when Dueck was released into the community after his most recent release from custody.

“At no point was anyone told about this predator’s criminal record, the condition that he have one-to-one supervision at all times, and that he was not to be around children,” Merrifield said in the legislature.

Kelowna RCMP spokesman Cpl. Michael Gauthier said the force had requested a public interest disclosure when Dueck was released but “the threshold was not met in this case based on the totality of the circumstances”.

Dueck has been in custody since being arrested at the unnamed equestrian facility on Feb. 8.

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