For eight consecutive years before convicted rapist Raymond Lee Caissie completed his prison sentence in March 2013, the parole board denied his early release, warning he would “likely commit an offence causing another person serious harm or death.“
Caissie is accused of killing Surrey teen Serena Vermeersch. The 17-year-old was reported missing Sept. 15 and her body was found the next evening near 146 Street and 66 Avenue. Caissie was arrested in Vancouver Sept. 20 and charged with second-degree murder.
Caissie was released from prison into Surrey last year after serving a 22-year sentence for a violent sexual assault and robbery in Abbotsford in 1991.
Parole Board of Canada documents show that year after year, from 2006 to 2013, the board repeatedly denied releasing him before his sentence was done.
The board said there were no programs of community supervision adequate to protect society from the risk Caissie might present.
Documents indicate that since the age of 15 (he is now 43), Caissie spent only about two years out of jail.
Prior to his Abbotsford offence – which involved the forcible confinement and repeated rape of a 21-year-old student at knifepoint – Caissie had convictions of sexual assault, committing in indecent act and assault as a youth.
During most of his parole reviews, Caissie agreed he lacked the ability to live outside prison, saying he wanted to be away from people and had no community support or employment skills. He had never lived on his own, or even shopped for basic necessities.
Often, Caissie voluntarily moved from medium security institutions to maximum as he was more comfortable there.
He was repeatedly assessed as a high risk to re-offend sexually and violently.
However, a report in 2008 said he was unlikely to show signs of his risk elevating.
“This is because, in addition to sexual deviancy, a major risk factor for you is your tendency to ruminate over perceived slights and fantasize about taking revenge,” said the parole board.
Over the years, Caissie refused to participate in sex offender programs, had several run-ins with prison staff and used drugs in jail.
In 2012, a year before the completion of his sentence, he told a psychologist that while violence was once a way of life, he had no real desire to behave violently anymore. Yet, he said, if his life was in danger and needed to to defend himself, he’d do whatever was necessary to survive.
But a year later, just two months prior to his release, it was discovered Caissie was part of a plot to “hit” a prison staff member. Caissie denied any involvement. Again, the parole review deemed him at high risk for both sexual and violent recidivism.
“It remains that your institutional behaviour demonstrates ongoing criminal values and attitudes…“ said the board, citing the fact he still had no release plan and did not have the support of his case management team.
“The Board continues to find that, if released, you are likely to commit an offence causing serious harm to another person…“ read the January 2013 detention review.
Because he had served his full sentence by March 2013, by law, the parole board had no choice but to release him.
During sentencing, prosecutors can apply for a dangerous offender designation which can keep an offender in jail indefinitely. That application was not made in Caissie’s case. Crown also hadn’t asked for electronic monitoring or a curfew.
Upon his release more than a year ago, the B.C. Corrections Branch did issue a warning that Caissie would be living in Surrey. His conditions included keeping the peace and staying in this province, having no contact with his victims, and not to possess a knife except for eating, or possessing of a weapon or tools for restraint, including duct tape or wire.