Canada gives day parole to ‘Balaclava Rapist’ Larry Takahashi serving three life sentences
Dubbed the ‘Balaclava Rapist’ by the Canadian media, Takahashi gained notoriety in late 1970s and early 1980s for putting on a ski mask and breaking into homes of women in the city of Edmonton, whom he sexually assaulted and sometimes robbed. City police said at the time that there may have been around 100 victims.
He was arrested in 1983 and a year later faced 70 charges involving 22 women. Takahashi struck a plea bargain and was convicted of 14 charges, including four counts of rape, sexual assault with a weapon, and six counts of disguise with intent.
According to parole board documents, Takahashi admitted to "hands on" attacks of 29 women. Among his victims were pregnant mothers, one of whom had miscarried twins after the attack. Another woman was raped in front of her children.
"You are capable of extreme violence," the Board stated in its July ruling approving his partial release, as cited by CBC News. "You planned and pursued the victims; you were a cold, callous sexual offender with no regard for the plight of the victims."
Takahashi, now 63, petitioned for unescorted day parole in the Lower Mainland area. The Correctional Service of Canada supported the plea and recommended full parole, but the Parole Board of Canada would not go that far. The ruling said Takahashi’s "risk to reoffend is manageable on day parole and is not an undue risk."
The parole includes 11 conditions, including electronic monitoring, overnight curfew, no access to computers and staying away from his victims and university campuses. The Board said those measures would limit the risk of Takahashi’s acting on his rape fantasies, which he continues to have. It added that the admission, as opposed to denial, was a sign of progress in his rehabilitation.
“I couldn’t believe it. Have they put a new brain in his head, or what? Did the actually surgically remove that brain? I don’t think so,” Helen Kostiuk, one of Takahashi's victims, told the Edmonton Journal.
Another victim, identified as 'Jane' by Global News, expressed similar outrage.
“You lost your rights,” she said. “As far as I’m concerned your life should be done.”
Over the last decade Takahashi was granted more than 500 work releases, escorted absences, and temporary absences and has earned the trusted position of the prison driver.
However, in August 2005, he violated the terms of his day parole by socializing with a convicted sex offender and was sent back to prison.
In 2013 he was supposed to spend 60 days in a half-way house in the city of Victoria to attend a substance abuse program, but was sent back early. The police did not report any parole violations at the time, but the Correctional Service commented that a parole release may be revoked by the parole officer, if he or she has reasonable ground to believe that the person poses a risk to the community.