What to do about the Balcony Rapist

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If you live in Canada, you’ve likely heard of the Balcony Rapist ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù now, if not 20 years ago. If you haven’t heard of Paul Callow, the gist of it is he was convicted of and incarcerated for the rape of five women in Toronto. He was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison, a term which ended just recently.

He’s in the news again, but this time because no one wants him living in their city. He first moved to Surrey, BC, and shortly moved to New Westminster. Not surprisingly, New West residents are upset and anxious that he is living in their city.

While I, too, would probably be anxious if he moved to Lethbridge, I have to wonder what else can be done. He served his time. Certainly, he has to live somewhere. But if no one wants him to live in their city, where can he go? He can’t go back to prison.

17 thoughts on “What to do about the Balcony Rapist

  1. Sound like a situation in San Diego. There are two child molesters getting ready to be released form jail. They “have to let them out because they have served their time”, but they have been assesed as “high risk to reoffend”. They are talking about placing a trailer on state owned land just outside the jail fence and letting them live there.

    I think the overriding principle is the public good. If they are deemed too risky to release, then they should not release them. Period.

  2. Does Tuktoyaktuk have any vacancies?

    Seriously, for his own safety, he’s probably be best served in a very small remote community where everyone knows who he is and can keep an eye on him. He should find a job working Arctic oil derricks or something and remove himself from civilization.

    Not that anyone can force it on him, of course.

  3. This individual is free to live anywhere he wants.

    If people know what he did and give him a hard time, then it’s HIS problem.

    He made choices. He should be accountable.

    If he wants to live somewhere without the stigma of his criminal record being an issue, there are avenues which would allow for that as well.

    I don’t feel all that bad that he doesn’t get to do exactly what he wants, or gets to live where he would prefer.

    He is a known felon. He gets to live his life with that on his back, just like the victims get to live the rest of their lives having been raped.

  4. Perhaps the option of castration with penisectomy should be offered as an option to sex offenders who want their names off the list? But given the natural of violent rape, one wonders why inprisonment wouldn’t run until sexual performance was no longer possible, either by surgery or old age?

  5. Rape isn’t about sex. It’s about violence.

    Castration or genital mutilation would not be conducive at all in this regard.

    In this particular case, Paul Callow has had too much press coverage to be ‘off the list’ in any meaningful way anyway.

  6. Have you ever read Hugo Schwyzer’s series on Sex Offenders. I don’t have specific links, but they were really thoughtful and intersting and worth a read if the topic is on your mind right now.

    This is a really hard topic for me. There just really is no good solution.

  7. Is this what you meant, Lisa?

    I have to agree with your last point. I mean, some of the other comments seem to say the judge who convicted him didn’t serve justice with a 20-year sentence. It certainly would be easy to hate callow and refuse to let him live in one’s neighbourhood, but then that’s not a very inclusive, Christian attitude.

  8. “…not a very inclusive, Christian attitude.”

    Since he was chased out of Surrey and New Westminster, perhaps it would be more appropriate to determine how Sikhs, Muslims, Shintos, Buddhists and Hindus feel about sex offenders… :)

  9. Whoa, I’m fully aware violent rape is a violent crime, which I distinguish from date rape, statutory rape, etc. Most statutory rapists, in particular, shouldn’t be on these lists anyway. But, back to point, w/o a penis or testosterone, just how is the rapist to rape again? Moreover, I offered it as an alternative to being listed upon release, not a sentence. I also questioned why such a person’s jail time wouldn’t run until rape was no longer physically possible?

  10. …but my point was that the actual act is not what instigates the crime in the first place.

    That’s why the options you mentioned are unhelpful.

    Cruel and unusual would be more appropriate descriptors; I believe our societies have a problem with cruel and unusual punishment…I’ll have to look that up. ;)

  11. rick,

    I thought I made it clear I wasn’t offering it as a punishment but as an alternative the sex offender parolee could choose as an alternative to listing. Call it “keep your dick, stay on the list”. I hope I didn’t imply I was advocating forced penisectomy/castration.

  12. Ummm… I fail to see how voluntary genital mutilation could be viewed as anything BUT punitive. “It’s either lose your junk or you go on the list, punk!”

    …I think you get the point.

  13. Steve only a man would say he can distinguish between violent rape and date rape or statutory rape… rape is all violent no matter what the situations were. I worked 10 years as a councilor at a Sexual Assault Centre and met with countless females who were raped in all of your so called distinguishable categories and the end result and emotional beings were exactly the same… sense of personal violation and never being safe again.

  14. Sally, there’s a pretty big difference between consensual statutory rape and violent rape, no?

    Not that I’m agreeing with all the assertions #1Ehat Steve makes, but let’s be reasonable here.

  15. As someone who lost virginity to an older woman, I’ll even go further and say regarding these news reports of female school teachers having sex with teen male students, I just don’t see a victim. Punishment for such a teacher should be restricted to loss of job and some kind of do-not-hire-to-teach listing, but not jail. It’s a double standard, vs a male or lesbian teacher, but boys/men and girls/women are different.

    Regarding statutory rape, when I hear about a man age 19 getting an underage gf pregnant and ending up on a sex offender list, I’m left scratching my head.

  16. Callow has served his time. Unless he re-offends he should be able to live in peace wherever he so chooses. We all make ourselves victims when we fear what has not yet transpired.

    Aside from that gem of wisdom allow me to further add, I would rather have a known sex offender living in my neighbourhood than having an unknown one live in my neighbourhood.

    Or put another way: Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t!

  17. We all make ourselves victims when we fear what has not yet transpired.

    Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me.

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