Drugs that suppress sexual urges didn’t keep a 46-year-old man convicted of violent sexual offences from being labelled a dangerous offender and jailed indefinitely.
A B.C. Supreme Court justice ruled Wednesday that Dennis Wayne Bragg is a dangerous offender, which is Canada’s most serious criminal designation.
Most people who are declared dangerous offenders and given indeterminate jail sentences will spend the rest of their lives in custody in the federal correctional system.
Bragg showed little emotion after hearing the sentence. But after a morning break in the reading of the judgment the heavy-set man dressed in prison-orange garb began to quietly sob.
Bragg was last convicted in 2009 of sexually assaulting and unlawfully confining a pregnant and mentally challenged prostitute in a remote area and at his apartment. He has a record of violent rapes against his wife, an acquaintance, a stranger and the sex trade worker dating from 1993.
“The court has a duty to reduce the risk of Mr. Bragg’s violent behaviour toward women,” Blair said.
A psychiatrist used as an expert witness found Bragg was at a high risk to reoffend, despite more than a decade of treatment in and out of prison. Drugs, alcohol and prostitutes were a “toxic” combination that preceded assaults — a combination that Bragg could not resist, a report stated.
While Bragg refused to undergo an assessment by the psychologist, he began to take an anti-libido medication in March last year to dull his sexual urges. In his ruling, Blair said Bragg reported his sexual drive was lessened, but there was no testing.
“There’s no evidence to establish that the medication is doing what it says.”
The drugs also carry serious side effects, including bone density loss, weight gain and liver damage. One physician who testified said he’d consider it unethical for a patient to take the drug for more than three years.
Blair said medical history has shown that many people on the drugs stop taking them once side effects become clear.
Other options for Blair were to give him a specific jail sentence or a sentence followed by a 10-year supervision order. By giving him the highest penalty — an indeterminate sentence — Bragg has little chance of ever getting out of jail.
Most of Bragg’s assaults occurred in Newfoundland. He’s spent most of his life in the Maritimes.
He was first convicted for sexually assaulting his wife a number of times beginning 1993.
Two years later an acquaintance hired Bragg to do renovations on his home. When he was away, Bragg slipped in his girlfriend’s bed and tried to sexually assault her. He also assaulted his friend.
He was given a 34-month sentence and released in 2000. Soon after he was convicted of impaired driving and drug possession on two separate occasions.
Two years later he was convicted of assault causing bodily harm and sexual assault. He tied up a woman for several days and sexually assaulted her. She suffered bruises and lacerations on every part of her body.
After being released in 2008, Bragg moved to Kamloops. One year later he sexually assaulted the young prostitute with limited mental ability who was addicted to crack cocaine. She testified she feared for her life.