Penticton sex offender can’t find a home

Don Bakker turns himself in at RCMP detachment to avoid breaching release conditions

With nowhere else to go, convicted sex offender Don Bakker turned himself in to Penticton RCMP for breach of curfew conditions.

“On Thursday, July 12 he turned himself in to the detachment on a breach because he could not locate a suitable residency by his curfew,” said Sgt. Rick Dellebuur. “Basically, he is having trouble finding anywhere to live because nobody wants him there.”

Bakker also knocked on the Penticton RCMP detachment door on July 11, turning himself in because he had nowhere to stay by his 11 p.m. curfew.

The 48-year-old man served his full 10-year federal sentence after pleading guilty to one count of sexual assault and two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm on Vancouver sex-trade workers. He also pled guilty to seven counts of invitation to sexual touching on Cambodian girls between the ages of seven and 12. Those charges were precedent setting in Canada, as Bakker became the first Canadian charged with sex tourism. Many of his crimes were revealed on two video tapes found inside his vehicle when he was arrested in 2003.

Penticton RCMP issued a public warning he was a high risk to reoffend when he moved to the city in June. Residents in a 55-plus mobile home park said they were notified of Bakker’s presence by a person distributing copies of the RCMP news release. The residents told the Western News that Bakker was living with his parents in the park. Earlier this month, another Penticton resident in the central area of the city expressed her concerns with RCMP that the 48-year-old sex offender would be moving into the neighbourhood where many children live and played in a nearby park. According to the resident, Bakker was then not permitted by his parole officer to reside there.

On Monday, Bakker consented to remand on the curfew breach and will appear in Vancouver provincial court where he already has a scheduled date for Wednesday after Crown counsel made an application under Section 810.2. Crown spokesperson Neil Mackenzie previously said this is a common procedure in B.C. with federal prisoners who have committed significant sexual or violent offences and then are released after their sentence expires. Section 810.2 would further tighten restrictions on Bakker for at least one year and a maximum of two years if there is sufficient evidence found during a hearing. When that expires, the Crown can again apply for the Section 810.2 conditions if they have evidence to prove they are necessary.