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Outbursts, fire alarms cause disruptions during day 3 of dangerous offender hearing

A fire truck outside the Edmonton Law Courts on June 12, 2024. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton) A fire truck outside the Edmonton Law Courts on June 12, 2024. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)
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WARNING: This story contains content that readers may find disturbing.

Day three of a hearing to determine if Curtis Poburan should be designated a dangerous offender came with several interruptions.

Poburan, who has a long history of sex offences against children, pleaded guilty in December 2022 to abducting a boy from the Callingwood neighbourhood in 2021.

A plea Justice Doreen Sulyma would not let him change at the start of the hearing.

He also pleaded guilty to using an imitation firearm to commit the offence and violating probation orders to stay away from children, places they might be or to have weapons.

A social worker was the first witness called before the court, who said Poburan was a regular client.

The Crown Prosecutor asked her about a treatment assessment report she completed on Poburan in 2017.

"He was engaged in the conversation, he answered my questions appropriately," said Frances Ross, a social worker with Alberta Health Services.

"He did not ask for any breaks or any need for time off. He did speak slow, seemed really purposeful with his answers," she added.

She said during that meeting he did talk about his charges.

"And so he talked to me a little bit about interacting with young boys," Ross told the court.

She said he spoke about young boys he met a few times at a public library who he invited to go shoot airsoft guns – as well as two other boys he extended the same invitation to.

"Saw them at a community league or community league building and then he asked them to go shooting in the river valley," said Ross.

She added his intention was "to become friends with them and have some sort of sexual interaction with them."

"He admitted to you he was sexually attracted to the victims?" asked Crown Prosecutor Parm Johal.

"Yes," Ross replied.

There were several recommendations Ross made in her report. The first was that he attend what's known as the Quest program for sexual offenders with learning challenges or social disabilities.

Other recommendations included continuing psychiatric appointments, regular supervision and not to have any contact with individuals under 18.

"This client made it very clear he had an attraction to children, specifically young boys," Ross told the court.

She said Poburan told her he often found himself going to places where children were known to congregate and he had sexual intentions.

"In regards to safety for the community, safety for children, that was part of my recommendation," she said.

Then Poburan laid down on the floor of the prisoner's box.

When brought to Justice Sulyma's attention she asked "Mr. Poburan, you can still hear what's going on?" .

"Uh, huh," he replied.

The proceedings continued, the court hearing Poburan had been engaged in some of the programs for sexual offenders but then eventually stopped going.

"After September 2020 the Quest program had no contact with him," Ross said.

That's when the court adjourned for a morning break. Upon return, Tyler Tober, a friend of the court known as an Amicus brought it to the judge's attention Poburan had concerns.

"I can't even represent myself because physically I don't have the strength," Poburan told the court.

He said he was tired because he's 'not being fed properly' and continued to make claims of mental, physical and sexual assault while at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

Poburan became increasingly agitated.

"Until you go to jail you'll never understand," he said, then dropped back down onto the floor out of sight.

As a second Crown said they would contact ERC to inquire about his meals and that he could call police to investigate his claims, Poburan began yelling, still on the floor.

"You don't f***ing understand do you," he yelled.

He continued yelling, interrupting both the justice and Crown as they spoke. At one point he said the Crown "can f*** off and die".

Poburan was once again warned if the disruptive behaviour continued he would be moved to a different court to watch the hearing virtually.

He did calm down, only getting up from the floor as it was time for him to cross-examine Ross.

"I physically can't," he said. "I don't have the capacity to proceed at all."

As the next 'expert' witness was called, alarms rang out in the courthouse.

The building evacuated a few minutes later for what an announcement said was a fire emergency.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services later confirmed there was no fire, that an alarm was set off accidentally.

When court resumed, a forensic psychiatrist, who treated Poburan between 2004 and late 2020 testified.

Dr. Curtis Woods was asked about appointments and a variety of different prescriptions given to Poburan over the years – including sexual suppressant medications.

Although he said Poburan claimed to be taking them and that they were helping, he refused several requests to have a test to check his serum testosterone levels.

"That can provide some objective evidence if the person is taking the medication," Woods said.

Woods also testified Poburan's lack of insight has not changed in the years he's been treating him.

"He is aware that he is a homosexual pedophile. He is aware that it is against the law to have sex with underage males," Woods said.

"The problem is he has really no motivation or inclination to change," he added.

Woods said Poburan has told people he plans to reoffend and that he's exclusively attracted to underage males.

"Typically under the age of 12," said Woods.

"There's been repetition in terms of his sexual offending cycle and what sort of actions and behaviours he chooses to engage in to deceive underage males," he said.

He continued to tell the court Poburan has offended while he was an ice cream vendor, posing as a photographer and recently with the invitation to shoot airsoft guns.

"I would be very concerned with him being alone with a 10-year-old boy in the River Valley," Woods said.

When asked what Poburan's risk is now, "It is still high," replied Woods.

The hearing continues Thursday.

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