(BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Convicted pedophile from Chatham will be released this year

A convicted child molester from Chatham was denied early parole this month, but his sentence will be completed in November this year.

Ronnie Inghelbrecht was sentenced to a total of seven years for sexual assault and two counts of possession of child pornography in November 2012. An investigation in 2011 revealed Inghelbrecht was in possession of 68,500 images and 1,246 videos of child pornography stored on three computers and media devices. According to Parole Board of Canada documents, after hearing of Inghelbrecht’s arrest, a male pressed the sexual assault charge that Inghelbrecht would eventually be convicted of. According to the victim, the sexual abuse occurred between May 1987 and June 1991.

Inghelbrecht is set to reach the end of his sentence on November 5, 2019.

The Parole Board of Canada decided against releasing Inghelbrecht early on March 14, 2019, stating his risk to re-offend was too high. According to the Parole Board of Canada’s decision, Inghelbrecht has not made enough “progress” since its last decision to detain him in 2017. That decision was made primarily because Inghelbrecht admitted that in 2016 he tried to obtain child porn while he was incarcerated and was caught with pictures of prepubescent boys cut out from magazines and newspapers in his cell, which he also admitted were for sexual gratification. Inghelbrecht admitted during that meeting he was at high risk for reoffending.

The board also was not satisfied Inghelbrecht had enough empathy for his victims. The board said in a psychological exam Inghelbrecht showed understanding his victim was harmed by his actions but still held the victim partially responsible because “he kept coming over.”

Inghelbrecht went through another Psychological Risk Assessment in February 2018 that deemed him on the low end for general recidivism and moderate for violent recidivism. The assessment indicated that by completing correctional programs, Inghelbrecht may reduce his risk of committing more sexual offences, depending on how well he incorporated the skills he learned.

In the paroles board’s most recent assessment decision, it considered Inghelbrecht to be engaged in his Correctional Plan. The board added, however, that his case management team was concerned about Inghelbrecht’s relapse while participating in the sex offender maintenance program in 2016. The board ultimately determined Inghelbrecht’s risk factors have not been addressed and there was no support for an early release.

The board said in addition to how serious Inghelbrecht’s offences were and how much damage they caused to the victim who came forward, he admitted there were several other victims but he has “no idea how many.”

Prior to Inghelbrecht’s 2012 conviction, he was also found guilty of sexual assault and sexual interference with a child in 1994 whom he molested in the shower while serving as a volunteer at a child mentoring group. In that instance, Inghelbrecht was only sentenced to a year and three months probation. There was a list of 17 children from Inghelbrecht’s neighbourhood and the mentoring group he was not permitted to contact. The parole board referred to these children as a “prepubescent male victim pool” Inghelbrecht was grooming and would molest along with use for pornographic material.

The board said Inghelbrecht justified watching child porn because he believed it caused “no physical harm.” The document also said that Inghelbrecht portrayed sexual offender behaviour since he was young and his age preference had not changed over the years.

The parole board added it found no direct evidence Inghelbrecht was planning to commit a sexual offence involving a child once released, but still deemed him too high a risk. Inghelbrecht himself agreed with the board’s decision in 2017 and said he thought it would be best if he remained in prison for the remainder of his full sentence to work on “self-improvement” and “participate in sex offender maintenance programming.” Inghelbrecht told the board at that time he was just beginning to see the harm he caused and was just learning skills and activities, like hobbies, to manage his free time and lower the risk of re-offending.

The board added another aggravating factor was Inghelbrecht’s “expansive victim pool,” which was contained young boys between the ages of nine and 14 — some of whom were familiar to him while others were unfamiliar to him. The document said Inghelbrecht used manipulation to gain familiarity with boys he didn’t already know. The board said Inghelbrecht admitted in the past he had no remorse for those he had harmed because it was all for his own gratification.

During sentencing, Inghelbrecht was given a lifetime placement on the Sex Offender Information Registry and a lifetime weapons ban in addition to his prison sentence. He was also required to submit a DNA sample and is not allowed to have contact with children in any way for the rest of his life.

According to Correctional Service Canada (CSC), an offender must be released, by law, at the end of their sentence.