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Pedophile once disguised as babysitter declared dangerous offender

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova.

Disclaimer: Court ruling and possible distressing information 

A 62-year old man, Walter Starnaman from Barrie, has been designated a dangerous offender by the Superior Court of Justice. He is convicted for sexual assault on a 10-year-old child, an declared a dangerous offender by Justice Kevin B. Phillips on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.

Starnaman has a long history of sexual offenses for which he has been charged multiple times, the first charge being when he was 17 years old. In 1976, he sexually assaulted a 6-year-old female in Brantford, on three separate occasions. After the third time, the child finally complained when the act of Assault got more painful. Starnaman admitted in the court to this act, and also said, “He did not see that he had caused any trouble to his victims – he just felt that the parents would be upset,” to his psychiatrist at the time, according to court documents. 

The conviction in 2021 is related to his offense for the incidents between January 2015 through May 2016, when he assaulted a 10-year old child referred to as C.B. in court documents. Starnaman cultivated a relationship as a babysitter to C.B. by becoming a friend of her mother. In the absence of her mother, Starnaman would assault the child by performing indecent acts of rubbing his private parts against the child’s body. 

Although he has a long history of sexual offenses, in a recent incident, “He went to considerable lengths to engineer a situation where he would have access to a young female child, and then took advantage of that situation multiple times,” the court decision reads.

“This was misconduct that occurred as a result of significant planning and deliberation. He spent a lot of effort trying to get himself a child to babysit.” 

According to a specialist, Dr. Klassen, Starnaman had shown interest in single mothers to get access to their children in the past. Other than the mother of C.B, he has formed a relationship with another single mother previously. 

While in the penitentiary, in 1993, police found some illegal possessions such as drugs and weapons and cutouts from the news which contained children’s names, aged 7-14, along with their pictures of who had won several awards in sports or school. Even more shocking was the list of names, ages, and addresses of single mothers and their children in the Kingston, Amherstview, and Toronto area. 

The core problem analyzed at the court was Starnaman’s inability and unwillingness to restrain from behavior that he is often charged for or convicted of previously. Moreover, it was also reiterated in the judgment, due to his history, Starnaman’s attempt to become a babysitter for an attempt to sexual assault shows enduring sexual aggression problems. 

The conviction of the designation of a dangerous offender suffices under section 753(1) of the criminal code of Canada, the court found. This designation is assigned after a conviction where the offenses have caused a severe personal injury, are a threat to life, safety, or the physical or mental well-being of other persons, based on evidence of repetitive behavior by the offender, and for which they are not restraining to any behavior. The conviction for Starnaman is based on the evidence that he has remained with ‘persistent aggressive behavior’ for sexual abuse. 

Other offenses throughout his life include: 

  • 1976: Indecent Assault on a 6-year old female in Brantford – Charges withdrawn in 1977 
  • 1977: Indecent Assault on a 5-year old female in Barrie – Convicted 1977 
  • 1980: Sexual intercourse with a 13-year old girl – Convicted 1980, Sentence 12 months 
  • 1983: Sexual Assault on 11-year-old girl – Convicted 1983, Sentence 2 years 
  • 1988: Sexual Assault on a 14-year-old babysitter to his one-year-old son – Convicted 1988, Sentence 2 years 
  • 1990: Sexual Assault on a wheelchair-bound girl – Convicted 1990, Sentence Time served & 1 day & 3 years probation

From 1994 to 2008, Starnaman was held in several psychiatric institutions due to his persistent history of offenses. However, he did not want any assessment or treatment. He underwent phallometric testing, which is specialized testing that measures behavior or changes in sexual arousal and interests and changes in controlling those desires. This testing showed that he is interested in females from nine to 13 years of age, supporting the diagnosis of pedophilia. 

In 2007, while he was transferred to the Forensic Assessment Unit at Royal Ottawa Hospital, he admitted having a sexual interest in children in the past, while also indicating that he no longer has those interests, according to his treatment notes. He went under treatment and was released into the community in 2008 under a bond. During the period of the bond, there wasn’t any incident reported for his offensive behavior. He entered a bond of a similar nature in 2009 for two years again and continued with his treatment with Lupron to decrease his sex drive. 

After the incidents from 2015-16, the judge declared Starnaman a pedophile for the rest of his life. Thus, the offender is designated a dangerous offender while he waits for his sentence hearing in the coming weeks.

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