Montreal Gazette

Serial home invader has his parole denied again

Board decides on rare move to keep offender incarcerat­ed past release date


The Parole Board of Canada has decided to keep a man who carried out several home invasions in Montreal behind bars well beyond his statutory release date, a rare designatio­n for an offender in Canada.

Juan Carlos Cano Cifuentes, 44, began his most recent series of home invasions in 2010, the day after he finished serving a 10year prison term, and he sexually assaulted a woman during one of the break-ins. It's the second time since 2022 that the parole board has decided to maintain his incarcerat­ion beyond the two-thirds mark of his 14-year sentence. Almost all offenders serving time in federal penitentia­ries in Canada are automatica­lly released if they were not previously granted parole.

“The board ordered your continued incarcerat­ion on April 14, 2022, because it was convinced that if you were released, you would commit an offence causing death or serious harm to another person before the legal expiration of your sentence,” the board wrote in a decision made last Wednesday.

This time around, the board reviewed his case to see if anything new merited a change. In February, Cano Cifuentes refused to take part in his parole hearing.

Between April and June 2010, he broke into six homes, often while the occupants were asleep inside. In some cases he tied up the victims and threatened them with a weapon like a knife or a machete. In one case he forced a couple out of their home and brought them to an ATM where they were ordered to withdraw money for him.

He began those home invasions the day after he left a penitentia­ry after serving the entirety of a sentence he previously received for other violent break-ins. That included one carried out in 2001 in a residence for elderly people during which he pressed two knives to the neck of an 86-yearold woman and threatened to kill her if she didn't reveal where she kept her valuables.

In 2003, he tied up a woman and threatened to kill her nine-yearold son if she didn't co-operate.

Cano Cifuentes was arrested for his most recent home invasions in 2010, and in 2011 he pleaded guilty to more than two dozen of the charges filed against him.

In 2013, he was sentenced to a 17-year prison term and, with time served factored into the sentence, he was left to serve 169 months. He was also declared a long-term offender, which means the parole board can impose surveillan­ce conditions on him for 10 years after the sentence expires.

The parole decision describes how Cano Cifuentes was born in Guatemala and was very young when his mother left him in an uncle's care when she moved to Quebec. He joined his mother in Quebec when he was five and didn't handle the transition well. He rebelled against his mother and stepfather and consumed soft drugs and alcohol as a young teen before moving on to cocaine.

At the age of 15 he dropped out of school “to devote yourself solely to your marginal and deviant lifestyle. You continued on this path into adulthood.”

“In (the most recent psychologi­cal) assessment it is stated that, based on your score in the Hare Psychopath­y Checklist (PCL-R), you are in the category of mixed cases, in whom the risk is often unpredicta­ble, diverse and potentiall­y burdensome,” the parole board wrote while listing its reasons to deny Cano Cifuentes a release.

“With VRAG, which assesses the risk of violent recidivism, the result obtained indicates a probabilit­y of recidivism of around 76 per cent within five years and 87 per cent within 12 years following your return to the community. This is the ninth risk category out of a possible nine, i.e. the highest risk category.”

In December, a psychologi­st reported that it appeared he had done nothing toward managing the risk he represents to society.

The parole board is required to review Cano Cifuentes's case in two years.

 ?? ?? Juan Carlos Cano Cifuentes
Juan Carlos Cano Cifuentes

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