SYDNEY — There is an effort underway to have a former Strait area man convicted of abusing a boy in Nepal added to Canada’s sex offender registry, something the judges who presided over his Nova Scotia trials did not order when they sentenced him.
People may be surprised to learn that Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh’s name is not included on the registry, given the high-profile nature of historic sexual abuse allegations against him in Nova Scotia. But his two convictions in the early 1980s in Newfoundland and Labrador predated the national registry. And while he was convicted of 17 counts of abuse at two trials in 2010 related to four boys in the Strait area dating back to the 1970s, those convictions were overturned on appeal when it was determined it took too long to bring him to trial, and he was released from prison.
During his sentencings following the 2010 trials, two separate Nova Scotia Supreme Court justices did not order MacIntosh to register with the national registry. Both judges noted that, at the time, no similar allegations had surfaced for the time period after MacIntosh underwent treatment related to his 1983 conviction. He was, however, ordered to provide a sample to the national DNA registry and was banned from owning weapons for life, in addition to a period of incarceration, following the 2010 trials.
A sexual offender assessment report prepared for the court as part of his sentencing identified MacIntosh as a low to moderate risk to commit further sexual offences, noting it would be considered a high-risk situation if he was in a position of trust or authority over an underage male.
MacIntosh, now 75, was recently released from prison in Nepal after serving about half of a seven-year sentence for a conviction of abusing a boy. It is believed that he has returned to Canada and is in Ontario.
MacIntosh was arrested in December 2014 at a hotel room in Lalitpur, Nepal on charges of luring a boy to his room for sex in exchange for money. He had gone to Nepal in August of that year and reportedly targeted other street children during his stay. In 2016, MacIntosh’s appeal was denied, although a fine intended to go to the victim in the case was reduced from about $13,000 to about $3,900.
Bob Martin, one of the complainants MacIntosh was found guilty of abusing before his Nova Scotia convictions were set aside, said he has been assured by authorities that efforts are underway to add MacIntosh to the registry due to his international conviction.
“I feel honestly that they are doing this due diligence and working hard because of all the mess-ups in the past,” Martin said.
“I just hope he gets on the registry because, as of right now, everyone thinks he is there, and he’s not.”
Details in the matter can be hard to determine because the various bodies involved are subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act.
Earlier this week, Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner wrote to the commanding officer of the RCMP in Nova Scotia highlighting that MacIntosh is required to report to authorities within seven days of returning to Canada.
Martin said he believes there should be provisions to automatically add Canadian citizens to the registry after they have been convicted internationally of qualifying sex-related offences.
According to the RCMP website, the sex offender registry is a national registration system for sex offenders who have been convicted of designated offences and ordered by the courts to report annually to police. The database is accessible to accredited Canadian police agencies but cannot be accessed by the public.
As of 2016, new legislation created additional mandatory requirements and reporting obligations for registered sex offenders who travel outside of Canada.
Offenders convicted of a child sex offence must notify local police of any international travel, according to the website. Other registered sex offenders must report any international travel of seven days or more.
Persons under order after having been convicted of a sex offence are required to remain registered for 10 years, 20 years or life.
The RCMP administers and maintains the database. Police services across Canada are responsible for collecting the data and enforcing the registration provisions.
Information contained on the national sex offender registry includes:
• Date of birth
• Current address
• Current photograph
• Identifying marks (such as tattoos or scars)
• Vehicle information
• Type of employment and address
• Sex offence for which the offender has been convicted
• Provincial driver’s license
• Passport information