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Crown seeking dangerous offender label for man found guilty of sexual assault

A man convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in Nanaimo last summer could be labelled a dangerous offender.

Crown counsel intends to ask that a dangerous offender assessment be conducted on Kenneth Wayne Gillespie, 65, who was found guilty in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo May 31 of one count of sexual assault and one count of assault.

The dangerous offender provisions of Canada’s Criminal Code are intended to protect the public from the most dangerous, violent and sexual predators in the country.

When an individual is designated a dangerous offender, the court can impose either an indeterminate sentence with no chance of parole for seven years, a regular sentence plus a long-term supervision order in the community of up to 10 years after the regular sentence has expired, or a regular sentence of imprisonment for the offence.

Police issued a public advisory notice in 2007 when Gillespie moved to Nanaimo. He had just been released after serving a 14-year sentence for a sexual assault committed in Nanaimo while on statutory release for a 1986 sexual assault in Campbell River.

The advisory warned Gillespie was considered a high risk to re-offend against females of any age.

Crown counsel Jackie Gaudet said Gillespie has had multiple convictions for sexual offences.

“He’s a serial sex offender,” she said. “We wouldn’t be pursuing this unless we had a substantial likelihood of getting that designation.”

The latest sexual assault and assault charges stem from an incident last August when Gillespie sexually assaulted a young woman in his van in the north Jingle Pot Road area, and then pursued her when she ran from the van.

“He offered her a ride home, she’d missed a bus,” said Gaudet.

Gillespie was arrested a number of days after the attack.

He is scheduled to appear in court July 16 to fix a date for the Crown to begin an application for an assessment order in support of the dangerous offender designation.

If the application is granted, a psychiatrist prepares a report for a hearing where a judge decides whether to designate Gillespie as a dangerous offender.

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