An Ontario woman who was violently sexually assaulted and left for dead is furious that her attacker, a registered sex offender, has been released to a halfway house in Victoria.
“I told the court, if you release him you’re releasing a heinous monster who is going to hurt someone else,” said the 33-year-old victim, whose name is protected under a publication ban that she is fighting to overturn.
On Aug. 9, 2012, the woman, who was 24 at the time, was walking home from work in Brantford, Ont., when she was attacked by Daryle Wade Brown, a man she didn’t know.
Brown forced her to the ground, bashed her head repeatedly against rocks, dragged her into a wooded area and choked her unconscious. He sexually assaulted her, leaving her naked from the waist down, according to parole documents. The victim stumbled to a nearby garage for help and was treated in hospital for a concussion, bruises and severe lacerations to her scalp that required over 100 stitches.
Brown, now 29, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years and nine months for aggravated sexual assault.
Brown told the court he had been drinking and using marijuana that night and did not remember details of the attack. The court heard that Brown had attempted to attack another woman just before the assault but she sought help from others.
An original 12-year sentence was reduced by six years and three months as credit for time served in pre-trial custody. Brown, who is registered for life under the National Sex Offender Registry, was required to give a DNA sample and is under a 15-year weapons ban.
The law requires any offender not serving a life sentence to be released after serving two-thirds of their sentence. Brown was given statutory release on Sept. 8 and will serve the remainder of his sentence in the community. He asked to be released on Vancouver Island, where he has community support.
After a week in hospital, the woman discharged herself early so she could attend Brown’s first court appearance, where he was asking to be released on bail.
“In court, he looked right at me and he mouthed the words: ‘You f—-ing bitch, you should have been dead,’ ” she recalled. She said Brown showed no remorse during his sentencing hearing and never apologized for the crime.
A deep scar on the victim’s forehead and the emotional scars have not gone away.
“Still to this day, I have post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression,” she said. “I feel like my house is a prison. I won’t go anywhere alone, I won’t go out at night.” The woman said the trauma to her head has resulted in problems with her memory and comprehension and she has trouble keeping a job.
Her sister, who also spoke to the Times Colonist, said the assault has had an impact on the entire family, particularly the victim’s daughter.
“It affects the victim but it affects their entire family,” her sister said. “I will never forget seeing my sister the way she was after that happened.”
The woman said she learned through social media that Brown had been released in Victoria. “I’m pretty infuriated about that,” she said.
She said she didn’t sign up for the Parole Board of Canada’s victim notification system because she was worried Brown would find out her address. She also missed an email from her victim services worker alerting her about his release.
Victoria police did not issue a public notification about Brown’s release.
Spokesman Const. Cam MacIntyre said when considering a public notification, the department conducts a risk-assessment of the likelihood the person will reoffend and also looks at the risk assessment done by Corrections Canada.
“In this case, it doesn’t meet the threshold required for a public notification,” MacIntyre said. “However, that doesn’t mean we are without concern. We work with our community partners to closely monitor individuals such as Brown while they carry out their sentence in our community.”
The Parole Board of Canada had no say on Brown’s statutory release but reviewed his case in order to impose conditions he must follow. A June 2020 psychological assessment found that he poses an above-average risk to commit another sexual crime and is at moderate risk to reoffend generally.
Brown was released on conditions not to consume alcohol or drugs and not to associate with anyone involved in criminal activity.
He must also report to his parole officer any relationships or friendships with females, after the parole board said “women are clearly at risk.”
He must reside at a halfway house and return every night, and follow the treatment plan set out by his parole office.
The woman said while her ongoing trauma means she can never be free of Brown’s crime, “he’s walking around in Victoria B.C. from the hours of 7 a.m to 10 p.m. doing whatever he wants.”