‘Paper bag rapist’ to get another chance at parole

John Horace Oughton may not be treatable, but the man known as the paper bag rapist is still entitled to a parole review.

John Horace Oughton may not be treatable, but the man known as the paper bag rapist is still entitled to a parole review.

Oughton was declared a dangerous offender in 1986 after he admitted to sexually assaulting more than 140 women and children during a 10-year rampage that included Burnaby, Langley and other Metro Vancouver communities.

Prison spokesperson Kelsey Hymander confirmed Oughton will get a review sometime in mid-September once officials at Mountain Institution in Agassiz have completed an assessment and filed their report with the National Parole Board.

The 61-year-old former hot tub salesman was nicknamed the “paper bag rapist” for his habit of placing coverings over his face or the faces of his victims.

Two were from Langley.

In April, 1985, the 11-year-old friends were taking a short cut through the Langley Civic Centre grounds at 42 Avenue and 208 Street when they were lured into tall grass by Oughton.

Under Canadian law, a person declared a dangerous offender is jailed with no release date but is entitled to a review of parole eligibility every two years.

A previous parole assessment found Oughton was essentially untreatable.

“Your dangerous maladaptive personality structure is so entrenched and widespread that you are unsuitable for any currently available psychiatric treatment” the parole board report stated.

“No intervention exists to reduce your very high risk to reoffend.”

Oughton hasn’t participated in his parole hearings since his disastrous appearance in 2003 when he was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed.

The hearing before three National Parole Board members bogged down over Oughton’s complaint that he had been given insufficient notice of the hearing.

The board briefly adjourned the hearing and when it resumed, informed Oughton that it would proceed.

There are strict rules governing the behavior of prisoners at hearings, and Oughton broke one of them when he stood up and turned towards the small gallery where five of his victims were seated.

It appeared that he was trying to make for the exit which would have brought him within feet of his victims.

When a guard moved to stop him, Oughton, who was not shackled or handcuffed, became belligerent.

It took the guard, a parole officer and a Langley RCMP officer to subdue him.

Oughton was handcuffed and escorted out of the room.

The hearing resumed without Oughton present and his parole was denied.

At the time, the father of one of the Langley victims said Oughton’s right to a regular hearing subjects his whole family to more anxiety and inconvenience.

His daughter will bear the scars of her ordeal forever, he said.

“It never goes away. It’s an ugly chapter in our life, and we just have to deal with it,” he said.

In 1999, when he was still trying to convince authorities he’d reformed, Oughton registered a book he’d written with the  National Library of Canada titled “Mountain thoughts: an inmate’s journey towards self-knowledge.”

It does not appear to have been published.

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