Yesterday we told you convicted high-risk sex offender Jeffrey Goddard was being released into Surrey.
The 27-year-old has found himself in and out of jail for violating parole conditions and has a long history of luring and sexually assaulting youth.
Linda Hepner, mayor of B.C.’s youngest city, is furious.
LISTEN: Linda Hepner says repeat sex offender Jeffrey Goddard is not welcome in her community
Hepner says Goddard’s release into Surrey “begs the question of common sense.”
That’s because she says a full third of the population of her city is under the age of 19 – the group Goddard is known for targeting.
“And this is a good decision? Let’s put somebody who has that kind of a predatory history in the midst of all these young people?”
Hepner says she’s particularly incensed knowing that BC Corrections has described him as opportunistic, predatory, and maintaining his pattern of targeting youth. She says he was even recently convicted of a sex assault that occurred while he was in prison.
Goddard has in the past posed as a police officer offering ride alongs, or a movie producer looking to cast young people.
“If you’ve got a community of young people and you’re posing as a police officer – that’s ripe for a luring incident,” she says.
Hepner says she’s been in touch with Surrey’s top cop, who is monitoring the situation, and she’s also reached out to Victoria and Ottawa to express her anger.
She says more than a year ago, she wrote to BC Corrections to complain specifically about the release of this type of offender into Surrey, because of its disproportionately high youth population.
And she says she’s frustrated that the city wasn’t given a heads-up about Goddard’s move.
In the meantime, she’s asking the community to be cautious.
“I can tell you right now that every family should be aware that he is amongst us, and we have to be particularly vigilant until he is no longer living in Surrey. And hopefully that is very soon.”
Goddard is under nearly two dozen release conditions, which include a curfew, electronic monitoring, and a ban on owning devices that can connect to the internet.
Hepner says she doesn’t think they’re onerous enough – and hopes he’s caught violating so he ends up back behind bars.
“We’ll be monitoring that very closely. If he moves even one inch outside of those restrictions I know my guys are clearly going to be on him very quickly.”