Content Notice: This article contains graphic descriptions of child abuse and physical injury some readers may find distressing.
A Canadian man who was convicted of the horrific rape of a 3-month-old infant boy has begun identifying as transgender while incarcerated and is currently being held in a women’s correctional facility with a mother and child unit.
In 1997, Adam Laboucan sexually assaulted a three-month-old baby boy in Quesnel, British Columbia. Laboucan was 15-years-old at the time and had been hired to babysit the child. The infant was so brutally injured by the attack that he had to be flown to Vancouver, 410 miles away, to undergo reconstructive surgery.
After committing the horrific assault, Laboucan “mutilated himself and ate his own flesh,” according to news reports.
During the trial, an expert witness stated that Laboucan displayed “everything from transsexual to pedophilic tendencies.” A forensic psychiatrist who examined Laboucan testified that even he believed himself to be a danger to the public. “He said he was not planning a life of crime, but he felt he had no way to control the flood of violent, murderous fantasies,” Dr. Ian Postnikoff told the B.C. Supreme Court.
Postnikoff further detailed how he met with Laboucan several times at the Youth Containment Centre in Prince George after the teen was convicted in 1997 on the sexual assault charges. While in custody, Laboucan chewed on his wrists, resulting in serious self-mutilation.
“While in custody, he would turn them against himself, but this high level of self-mutilation, almost self cannibalization, could be turned against other, weaker individuals, with possibly fatal consequences,” Postnikoff added.
“He said that biting himself tended to ease the anger and frustration,” Postnikoff said during court proceedings. “In one instance, he chewed on his arm for 30 minutes, ingesting fat and muscle tissue.”
The forensic psychiatrist said that he believed intensive treatment would be necessary. “With the history and severity of the offenses of Mr. Laboucan, it’s difficult to say how long his treatment would last,” he said. “He’s not a regular sexual offender. I would say it would be a very long time, possibly years. I would be very, very concerned to hear that Laboucan would be released into the community in the near future.”
According to a 1999 news report by the CBC, clinical psychologist Dr. Steve Sigmond testified in court that when he examined Laboucan in 1997, the teen had also admitted to drowning a 3-year-old boy in Quesnel in 1993. Laboucan was 11 when he allegedly committed the killing, and no charges were ever lodged against him because under the law, an accused must be at least 12 years old.
The child’s mother, Delores Deutsch, told the court that she wanted Laboucan to remain in prison for the rest of his life. “They thought it was an accident, but inside I knew it wasn’t. I don’t know. I guess a mother just knows, inside that feeling,” she said.
As the court considered his case, Sigmond testified that Laboucan had described having sexual fantasies about children under the age of three and that he had a history of sexually aggressive behavior at school.
Due to the horrific nature of the crime, Laboucan was handed a rare indeterminate prison sentence in 1999 at the age of 17, and was declared the nation’s youngest criminally violent sex offender.
But despite the violent and sexual nature of his crimes, Laboucan is now identifying as a “woman” and has been transferred to the Fraser Valley Institution for Women in Abbotsford.
While it is unknown when Laboucan officially began transitioning, a recently surfaced dating profile from 2018 shows the convict boasting of his “vagina” and breast implants.
“I am a transgender woman and I was born a man but now after surgery I became a full woman,” Laboucan wrote on his Canadian Inmates Connect profile. “I have a vagina, not a penis, and also have 720ccs DD gel implants.”
Some past news reports speculated that the convicted rapist’s breast implants were paid for by taxpayers and estimated the cost at approximately $10,000. However, Corrections Canada responded to the inquiry by stating that such expenses were not covered by the federal government. It is therefore believed that the province of British Columbia directly funded the surgery.
The Parole Board of Canada has repeatedly denied Laboucan’s requests for release over the years.
In a December 2010 parole review, the board concluded that a number of aspects suggested he remained a threat to the public, including his “gender identity, impulsive behaviour, violence and sexual deviance,” CTV reported.
Of particular concern, officials said, was Laboucan’s past confession to murdering a young child. “According to your correctional file, while in a fit of anger, you pushed your victim into a pond,” parole board members noted.
Officers emphasized the criminal’s “bizarre sexual behavior” and prior incidents listed in his correctional file of the sexual abuse of his younger relatives and friends.
“Mutilation of your penis has also occurred, with you claiming [you] want to be female,” the board said. By 2010, he had attended seven parole hearings, and “his gender-identity confusion” was mentioned at each meeting.
The parole board was also told how Laboucan had been prostituting himself to other prisoners and using drugs. He was found with a rudimentary hand-made knife and had been threatening to kill a female guard.
Although it is unclear exactly when Laboucan was transferred to the women’s correctional facility, in April of 2018 The Toronto Star reported on another rejected parole appeal while referring to him with feminine pronouns, stating that the child rapist “now identifies as female.”
The year prior, 2017, he had appealed for release on the grounds of “bias” against him on the part of the board, and it would appear that by this time he had already been transferred to the Fraser Valley Institution for Women. Laboucan had been assaulting female inmates, and according to reports, “flung another inmate by her hair, then kicked her in the face.”
His latest parole appeal was denied last year in a September 20 ruling. According to members of the parole board, Laboucan’s most recent psychiatric assessment determined he was at a high risk of re-offending and was therefore deemed a potential danger to society. The board also highlighted his emotional outbursts, disrespectful behavior and drug use as risk factors that indicated his actions could escalate if released from prison.
Laboucan’s case will be up for review once again in October of 2024, though if his appeal is denied, there is a possibility he will remain incarcerated with women inmates for the rest of his life as decades of psychiatric evaluations have asserted that he has a poor prognosis for complete rehabilitation.
Fraser Valley Institution for Women features a minimum-security annex that hosts a program for incarcerated mothers and their babies. The Mother-Child Program takes place in a house comprised of facilities such as a shared kitchen, lounge and bathroom, as well as multiple bedrooms. It is situated within a compound of similar housing units, much like a neighborhood.
Other inmates who are not mothers themselves may be permitted to stay with the mother and child can even apply to serve as babysitters or “aunties”, though they may be subject to a risk assessment, a National Post report revealed.
The family must undergo an assessment by a child-welfare agency prior to gaining approval to have a child reside on prison grounds. If permission is granted, children can reside full-time with their mothers up to their fifth birthday and part-time up to their seventh birthday.
An advocate for the rights of incarcerated women made direct mention of Laboucan’s situation at Fraser Valley in a 2021 brief to members of the House of Commons. Addressing the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, Heather Mason told members of Canada’s federal government that multiple women had reported being the victim of sexual harassment by trans-identified males who had been placed in female institutions.
“One of these women reported that while in the mother-child program, two transgender individuals with convictions for pedophilia, Madilyn Harks and Tara Desousa, would loiter near her and her child, making sexist and inappropriate antagonizing comments,” Mason said in her statement.
Harks, whose given name is Matthew, is a serial pedophile who has been described as having “all-encompassing preoccupation in sexually abusing young girls.” Authorities believe he targeted at least 60 victims before being charged for approximately 200 offenses related to sexual abuse.
In 2019, a sexual assault report was filed against him by a female inmate, but no charges were pursued. That same year, the former Deputy Commissioner for Women, Kelly Blanchette, revealed that of all the requests from men to transfer into women’s prisons, half were from convicted sex offenders.
Mason shared with Reduxx exchanges she’d had with women being held in Fraser Valley. One inmate confirmed that Laboucan was being housed in a unit next to the Mother-Child Program residence, and said that he had been “staring” at the children to “antagonize” the women.
The anonymous source continued to describe a frightening interaction she’d had with Laboucan. She explained that she’d been invited to attend a volunteer appreciation event, and had brought her infant son with her. One of the guards secretly informed her that Laboucan was at the event and made her aware of his crimes against a 3-month-old baby boy.
“I was told that there was an extremely violent child sex offender present who hadn’t been in the presence of a young child in a very long time,” she said, adding that her own child was around the same age as Laboucan’s infant victim.
“Once I was informed of the sick and brutal nature of the crime against the child, I regretted even going or letting that person set eyes on my child.”
Laboucan, she says, was housed next to the Mother-Child facility after this incident, at which point his behavior escalated.
“These accusations of looming around the child program resulted in a dispute in which this trans sex offender picked up and threw a female inmate and charged after her once she was on the ground to continue the assault,” the source explained. “Luckily, guards intercepted, but they segregated the female inmate for inciting a reaction for confronting this trans inmate sex offender for his actions,” she told Mason.
Indigenous women make up nearly half the female prison population, according to data from Canada’s Correctional Service. Compared to the average citizen, incarcerated women are more likely to have a history of physical or sexual abuse, and have a higher incidence of mental health issues. Female offenders are also far less likely than men to be convicted for violent crimes.
A report released by the Correctional Service in 2022 revealed that 82% of “gender diverse” prisoners in Canada who had a history of sexual offending were men who identified as transgender. Almost all had committed their crimes prior to claiming a transgender status. The overwhelming majority committed offenses that caused death or serious harm to their victims, over half of whom were women or children.
In June of 2017, the category of “gender identity” was made a protected characteristic after it was added to the Canadian Human Rights Act via a controversial piece of legislation known as Bill C-16. The Canadian government claimed the bill had been assessed for its impact on women prior to approval, but has refused to release any details of the assessment’s findings.