Yellowknife RCMP issue warning, re-arrest violent Nunavut offender

Jonah Keyuajuk: “a violent sexual offender who poses a risk of significant harm to the public”

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Police in Yellowknife circulated the photo of Jonah Keyuajuk Aug. 28, warning people in the city to avoid him. Keyuajuk was apprehended later that day. (HANDOUT PHOTO)


Police in Yellowknife circulated the photo of Jonah Keyuajuk Aug. 28, warning people in the city to avoid him. Keyuajuk was apprehended later that day. (HANDOUT PHOTO)

A Pangnirtung man, 44, released from jail Aug. 26 in Yellowknife was back again behind bars Aug. 28 in the Northwest Territories’ capital.

That’s after the RCMP in Yellowknife sent out an exceptional warning to the public saying that Jonah Keyuajuk had violated terms of his bail and that he was “considered by police to be a violent sexual offender who poses a risk of significant harm to the public.”

“The Yellowknife RCMP is issuing this information and warning after careful deliberation of all related issues, including privacy concerns, in the belief that it is clearly in the public interest to inform members of the community about Jonah Keyuajuk,” said the warning which was accompanied by a photo of a tattooed Keyuajuk.

A few hours later, police found Keyuajuk and he was back in jail, with “charges pending,” the RCMP said later Aug. 28.

Keyuajuk is scheduled to appear in court in Yellowknife Aug. 31.

Keyuajuk already has a long criminal record full of violent offences and has served considerable jail time.

These crimes, some of which date to when Keyuajuk lived full-time in Nunavut, include assaults, sexual assaults, assaults causing bodily harm, aggravated assaults, aggravated sexual assaults, uttering death threats and drug offences.

In 1993 and 1995 he received short jail sentences for assault and assault with a weapon. In 1997, he received a penitentiary term of seven years for an aggravated sexual assault.

“Currently he does pose a risk and a danger to society,” said NWT Justice Louise Charbonneau eight years ago, on Aug. 24, 2007, when she sentenced Keyuajuk to three years and 11 months on three charges including assault, assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

These offences also took place when Keyuajuk was on probation, online court documents show.

He had been sentenced in 2005 in Nunavut on a charge of assault causing bodily harm and had only been out of jail for six months before he was re-arrested on the charges heard by Charbonneau.

“The record shows a consistent pattern of violence over several years. From that pattern… it seems that alcohol, drugs and maybe the mix of the two trigger or unleash something in Mr. Keyuajuk that makes him very, very explosive and dangerous to those around him,” she said in her sentencing judgment.

Keyuajuk had just been released from a two-year sentence for uttering threats and assaults, when he breached his probation conditions in Yellowknife last week.

While in jail, a violent attack on a fellow prisoner had added more time to his original sentence.

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