NEWS

John Walter Sebela, high-risk offender, arrested in Coquitlam after alleged attack on teen

12/01/2014 08:54 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST
A prolific high-risk offender who spent time in maximum security prison and once said the public had a right to be concerned about him has been charged with sexual assault after an alleged attack on a 16-year-old girl.

The Coquitlam student was waiting for a bus at the Lougheed Town Centre Bus Loop at around 6 p.m. Nov 24th when she was approached by an older man who touched her while making inappropriate comments. 

When the teen boarded the bus, the man followed and sat down beside her. He continued to make inappropriate comments and assaulted her sexually before getting off the bus. 

Metro Vancouver Transit Police investigated and arrested a 49-year-old suspect without incident at his Coquitlam home last Thursday.

The young woman is now receiving counselling and support from family, counsellors and victim assistance staff.

John Walter Sebela, 49, was charged with one count of sexual assault and ordered remanded in custody until Dec 10th pending a psychiatric assessment. Sebela is well-known to police as a prolific offender and is currently on the Canada High Risk Offender’s Program. 

In a 1998 interview, Sebela, then 33, was interviewed in Kelowna where he was living since his release from a maximum security prison in Alberta following four sex-related convictions. 

"Society's got a right to worry, got the right to feel they're being threatened in some way," Sebela told the CBC. 

While in prison, Sebela refused to participate in any sex offender programs. Community-led campaigns had driven him out of Calgary, Kelowna, Penticton and Surrey. It's not known how long he's been living in Coquitlam. 

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