Brampton residents aren’t happy about the federal government’s decision to move a sex offender with three convictions for sexual assaults against children into the city.
On Friday Peel Regional Police issued a community safety advisory on about Madilyn Harks, formerly Matthew Harks, alerting the public that she now resides in the Brampton area. The advisory quickly spread through the community.
Harks, 36, has three convictions for sexual assaults against girls under the age of eight. Victims have included neighbours and a fellow member of a church congregation. The advisory warned that Harks is at high risk of re-offending.
Mayor Patrick Brown says he’s alarmed that such a high-risk offender would be dropped in Brampton when she is from the west coast of Canada.
Brown penned a letter to Minister of Public Safety, Ralph Goodale, demanding answers as to why Harks has been released in Brampton, given her lack of roots in the area, her high risk to re-offend, and Brampton’s above average population of children.
Harks is subject to a Long Term Supervision Order with a number of conditions, including not attending public swimming areas, daycares, school grounds, playgrounds and community centres.
The order also prohibits Harks from being in the presence of children under the age of 14 unless accompanied by a responsible adult who has been approved by her parole supervisor, Peel Police said.
Harks is said to be residing in the Queen Street and Main Street area of Brampton. A popular area in the summer for families, it sits in close proximity to parks, playgrounds, splash pads and other common areas.
Peel Police warns that the public should use caution if they encounter Harks, and also that people should always be aware of adults their children may be interacting with.
Local MPs say they are investigating, but no response or explanation has been granted for placing Harks in Brampton at this time.