Parole Board records detail high-risk offender's sex crimes against children

Donald Duane Bartlett has sexually assaulted boys and girls ranging from babies to age 11 over the past 25 years, Parole Board of Canada records show.

Halifax police issued a public warning last week that Bartlett, considered a high-risk sex offender, is moving to the Halifax area.

In the latest case, according to documents, Bartlett used an internet chat line to engage in a conversation with another man where the two plotted to sexually assault children from infants to 10-year-olds.

“The two of you shared images, videos and written stories that constitute child pornography,” the board wrote in an Aug. 3 decision.

In 2015, Bartlett, now 49, was sentenced in Alberta for distribution of child pornography, printing/publishing child pornography, possession of child pornography and counselling another person to commit an indictable offence that was not committed. Those offences happened in 2012.

After a judge reduced Bartlett’s original 10.5-year sentence sentence to eight years, and granted him credit for time served, he had two years and 10 months left to serve. Bartlett was in custody since his arrest in 2012.

Halifax Regional Police issued a warning because Bartlett remains a high risk for sexually assaulting children

The parole board records also say that Bartlett also encouraged other predators to engage in sexual acts with children and started relationships with young women with daughters and then sexually assaulted the children.

Explicit images found on computer

When police searched his home in 2012,  they seized his computer and found upwards of 841 thumbnail caches of child pornography, 24 videos showing children engaged in sexual activity and 15 stories describing children engaged in sexual activity.

“You were described as a ‘high profile contributor’ and an advocate of explicit sexual exploitation of infants and pre-pubescent children, actively engaged between 1998 and 2012,” the board wrote.

Bartlett’s criminal record

Bartlett’s criminal record dates back to 1990. That year, he sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl whom he was babysitting.

In 1998, he pled guilty to possession of child pornography and to sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl he met at a lake, followed into a bush and touched above her clothing. That same year, Bartlett told police he had sexually assaulted another girl while she slept.

He also repeatedly sexually assaulted the young daughter of a woman he met online in 2000. Those incidents happened while Bartlett was babysitting the child and the mother was at work. The girl was between age eight and 10.

“She was told not to tell and feared your threats of suicide,” the documents say.

Failed to disclose sex offender status 

In 2002, Bartlett moved to another country and did not tell local authorities that he was a registered sex offender in Canada. He was deported back to Canada two years later.

In 2005, he was convicted of another sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching.

The board noted that Bartlett minimizes his actions, lacks remorse or empathy and does not understand how his actions impact others.

In one psychological risk-assessment report, he is quoted as saying that he “will likely always continue to be attracted to under-aged females and that even hearing the voice of a child can trigger feelings of sexual excitement.”

Bartlett has also been designated as a long-term offender and must abide by a number of strict conditions in the community for the next 10 years.

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Two areas of Lake Banook closed due to suspected algae blooms

Halifax Regional Municipality wants people and pets to stay out of two areas in Lake Banook due to suspected blue-green algae blooms.

One site is just west of the Paddlers Cove facility at 300 Prince Albert Road and the second is located further west along the same stretch of shoreline, closer to the intersection of Prince Albert Road and Sinclair Street.

“Blooms were identified there earlier this week … and may pose health risks to people and pets alike,” said Cameron Deacoff, Halifax’s environmental performance officer. “They should avoid the area until further notice.

“To the best of our knowledge, other areas of the lake are not affected. We do monitor our supervised beaches. We’ve contacted all the operators of the aquatic facilities around Lake Banook so that they’re all aware of the risk and have sort of heightened awareness in general of algae blooms.”

A suspected blue-green algae bloom in Lake Banook. (Halifax Regional Municipality photo)

It’s the second advisory the city has issued this summer.

A previous warning was issued earlier this month after blue-green algae blooms were discovered in a section of Lake Micmac near Shubie Park. It is an area popular with dog owners.

“We will be having testing done next week,” Deacoff said.

However, it can take more than a week to obtain the results to confirm what toxins might be present.

A followup test will likely be necessary, Deacoff said. Until then, the three areas will remain closed to swimming.

Algae are present in freshwater and saline environments, however, these organisms can multiply rapidly during the summer, leading to extensive growth called a bloom. 

The current heat wave is believed to have accelerated algae production earlier than usual in the season.

It is during the decay of some of the types of blooms that toxins can be released into the water, posing a risk to people and pets.

The toxins can cause skin, eye and throat irritation, and in serious cases where the toxins are consumed, can cause gastrointestinal illness. Children and people with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk for the more severe effects.

Centennial Park in Moncton was also closed to people and pets this summer after water tested positive for blue-green algae.

A blue-green algae bloom can appear as surface scum or discoloured water. They are not always easy to identify, Deacoff said.

“Blue-green algae blooms typically look like they have a colour that’s blue-green but that is not the only colour form that they have,” he said.

“They may also be green or red or brown or even yellow colour. They can appear as a surface scum, foam or matte. They really do have a wide variety of appearances. Some of them look like paint streaks and others are really hard to observe at all.”

The blooms in the Dartmouth lakes “do have a classic blue-green appearance and it is a little bit below the surface of the water,” he said.

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Kinap Beach reopens for swimming

The Halifax Regional Municipality is advising residents that Kinap Beach in Porter’s Lake has reopened for swimming. Municipal staff regularly test the water quality at all supervised and four unsupervised municipal beaches during the summer months. Tests last week showed high bacteria levels in the water, but follow-up tests now show the water is once …

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Two people charged after drug search

Two women are facing charges after police obtained a warrant and conducted a drug search on August 9 in Halifax. At approximately 1:55 p.m., investigators in the Special Enforcement Section of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Divisionconducted a search at the Green Leaf Society at 390 Herring Cove Road in Halifax. Officers seized a quantity of cannabis, …

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Late paycheques draw ire of Cape Breton call centre workers

Employees at a call centre in Sydney, N.S., were up in arms on Friday after paycheques were late for the third time in a row.

More than a dozen workers milled around outside the Servicom building, checking their phones to see if their pay had gone through.

Some went home, some logged in to work but didn’t take — or make — calls, and some worked. All said they were frustrated by repeated problems with late pay.

Jacqueline Mercer, whose shift wasn’t scheduled to start until later in the day, said she was there to talk to colleagues and see what was happening.

She said many people pay their rent at the end of the month and schedule other bills for automatic payment in the middle of the month.

‘It’s pretty crazy’

“It’s pretty crazy, because you come to work every day, you make sure you’re there every day, you put your time in and you expect to get paid,” Mercer said.

Mercer said one mistake would be understandable.

“But two pays in a row? And actually mine is like four pays in a row they’ve been totally messed up. It’s very unprofessional. It’s a bad way of doing business, and Cape Breton needs people that go to work, but they also want to get paid.”

Jacqueline Mercer says her payments have been “messed up” for four pays in a row. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

John Young went inside to work his shift on Friday morning and left after finding out the paycheques were delayed again.

“I think it’s sad that the Department of Labour doesn’t come down or whatever,” he said. “Is there a cash-flow problem? We demand to know who, what, where, when and why, and we’re not getting any answers,” he said.

He said there are upwards of 700 people at the business who depend on getting paid on time.

“I’m going home,” he said. “Why should I work if I don’t get paid for it? Old school. You pay me, I work. You don’t pay me, I don’t work.”

John Young went inside to work his shift on Friday morning and left after finding out the paycheques were delayed again. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

Todd Riley, Servicom’s site manager, said he and other managers are in the same boat as the rest of the workers. He said the company is working with its outside payroll firm to find a solution.

Those paid directly by cheque were able to cash them, Riley said, but the direct deposit was held up because the company’s transfer of funds to the U.S. payroll firm was delayed.

Funds have to be converted

Part of the delay was in converting from American to Canadian funds, he said.

“We’re looking to actually solve this because I know we’ve been going through some different banking and different transactions, conversions and stuff like that, and really I was very perplexed this morning to wake up and see emails and see that this is being an issue,” Riley said.

Servicom site manager Todd Riley says he and other managers are in the same boat as the rest of the workers. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

Most employees should see their pay later today, he said, and the company is covering banking costs for the workers because of the delay.

But some employees said that still hasn’t happened since the last time.

Riley said he would be talking to staff and reassuring them that the company is not going out of business.

“I think people realize it’s like a relationship and something happens, something goes wrong, you don’t automatically get a divorce,” Riley said.

“You basically sit back and you try to work things out, and that’s what we’re going to do with our people, because they’re fantastic workers and they are one of the reasons we’ve been here for 19 years.”

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