Guyanese man sentenced for paedophilia in Canada

A Guyanese paedophile was last week sentenced in Canada to six months in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a nine-year-old boy in July of 2008.

George Simmons, 77, who migrated to Canada at age 35, was described in the December 14 decision by Judge R.V Simmons as having an “incurable sexual disorder” as it was not the first time he sexually assaulted young children. “George Simmons is a paedophile,” the ruling, seen by this newspaper, said.

In 1980, he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a male and was given conditional discharge and three year’s probation. In 1987, he was found guilty again and was sentenced to eight months and given three years probation.

Again, in 1990 he was sentenced to two years less a day and three years probation. In the same year, he was given another six month sentence, to run concurrent with the two years, for failing to comply with the probation order.

Simmons taught piano lessons to the child for about two years. While initially the lessons were given at the student’s home, they were later moved to Simmons’ home because of his health problems.

Three sessions were given at Simmons’ home over a three-week period and it was during this period the offence was committed. During the first lesson, Simmons rubbed the child’s thigh and kissed him on the cheek three times and once on his lips. He also told the child he loved and cared for him. During the second lesson, he again rubbed the child’s thigh and kissed his cheek five times and his lips twice. The third time, he kissed the child twice on his lips and hugged him in a standing position and when he asked the child if he wanted him to go on, the child said no and he stopped. The child later told his mother and a report was made to the police.

Simmons was born and raised in Guyana and is one of four siblings; two brothers are deceased while his sister resides in England. He completed high school and four years of college in Guyana and received a certificate after studying engineering for two years at a technical institute.

He was employed at the Guyana Electricity Corpora-tion from ages 19 to 35 and later migrated to Canada, where he was hired at the Lakeview Power Station. He worked there from 1969 to 1985.  Throughout the years, he also tuned pianos and taught private lessons. He got married in 1963 and had three children with his wife but after his second conviction they divorced.

‘Frail’

Simmons is suffering from several illnesses and once suffered from prostate cancer, which was removed by surgical intervention.  His doctor told the court that he was frail and the judge noted that the assessment is accurate with “apparent increasing visibility during court appearances over the past few months.” He suffers from diabetes which is controlled through diet and he must check his blood count before eating. He also suffers from hypertension.

His doctor, Julian Gojer, a forensic psychiatrist, had told the court that Simmons would not be in a condition to “handle a jail sentence well.” The doctor, who had treated Simmons since he was charged in 2008, said he had not used pornography and there was no alcohol or drug dependency. “Dr Gojer has diagnosed the offender as suffering from ‘paedophilia’…of the non-exclusive variety, ie, he has an attraction to adult females but also has a sexual attraction to children. There is no evidence of a personality disorder or psychopathy,” the ruling said.

He has been engaged in “intensive treatment” and he has acknowledged his “deviation and fantasies” and according to the doctor he is “not play acting in anticipation of sentencing.” The doctor said it is thoughts that drive Simmons’ behaviour and physical arousal follows mental arousal.

‘Disgusted’

In a statement to the court prior to his sentence, Simmons said that he was “truly sorry for the pain and suffering that I have caused [the child] and his family.” He said he was taking the prescribed medication. “I feel disgusted and fed up with my past behaviour and this is why I agreed to Dr Gojer’s recommendation of chemical castration.

I intend to totally control this problem which has brought so much unhappiness to others. I can advise the court that I know that the medication is working, as I no longer have any sexual urges and I am confident that I will never re-offend,” Simmons said.

He said he understood he would never be allowed to be in the presence of children again and will comply strictly with the term and would submit to regular testosterone testing when requested.  Simmons expressed fright at the possibility of dying in custody as he doubted that he would have immediate access to medication or the emergency foods that he requires. He also needs personal assistance to shower and a shower chair and an extended shower head, he felt would not be forthcoming in jail.

“I can assure this court that if I am given a suspended sentence that I will never be before this court again. I have every intention of following Dr Gojer’s advice and recommendations as well as obeying any conditions the court imposes without exception,” he said.

Simmons was later sentenced to a jail term and the court ordered that he be immediately favourably considered for the Temporary Absence Programme in consideration of his health circumstance and in order to minimize disruption to an ongoing effective treatment regime. It was also ruled that he continue to take the same medication and if it does not become immediately available in the correctional institution temporary absence passes must be given to him so he can continue uninterrupted treatment with Dr Gojer.

Further, it was ordered that Simmons comply with the country’s Sex Offender Information registration and is prohibited from attending a public park or public swimming area where persons under the age of 16 are present. He cannot visit a day care centre, school ground, playground or community centre.

The long list of conditions also includes Simmons not being in possession of a weapon, he reports to a probation officer within two working days of his release, remain within the jurisdiction of the court unless written permission to go outside is obtained from the court or probation officer and to have no communication or contact with the victim.

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