Mark Rendell
Mark Rendell

Bobby Zoe Trial: Postponed

The repeat sex offender's court proceedings have been extended; will be rescheduled later this month.

After running for three days this week, repeat sex offender Bobby Zoe’s trial has been postponed. Though originally scheduled to finish by the end of this week, by the time it wrapped up Friday afternoon, the defense lawyer had yet to make his case.

Zoe, 34, is charged sexual assault, after allegedly breaking into an apartment and assaulting a sleeping woman in the early hours of Feb. 15, 2015. He’s also charged with theft.

On Wednesday morning the court heard from the victim about how she woke up to someone standing beside her bed and touching her genitals. Her boyfriend, who was sleeping in the bed next to her, awoke to her cries and chased the man out of the room. They grappled in the building’s stairwell, with the victim’s boyfriend trying to prevent the perpetrator’s escape by holding onto his backpack. The backpack straps ripped and the perpetrator fled, leaving the bag.

According to RCMP testimony, Zoe was picked up a short while later near the site of the crime. His appearance at the time matched the description given by the victim and her boyfriend; in addition, there were letters in the backpack bearing Zoe’s name.

This crime happened two weeks after Zoe allegedly broke into another building and sexually assaulted someone in downtown Yellowknife.

Zoe has a history of sexual assault and breaking and entering. In 2012 he was sentenced to 39 months in prison for sexually assaulting and robbing a woman on 53rd Street. He served less than half of the sentence. In October 2013, he broke into a home in Old Town where a family with two teenage daughters were sleeping. He was sentenced to 21 months in jail in February 2014.

RCMP came under criticism following Zoe’s arrest this past February for not warning the public that he was back on the streets. At a press conference in early March, RCMP admitted they had made a mistake.

“Inadequate information was the primary factor for a delay in the release of information up the chain of command,” said Const. Elenore Sturko, according to NNSL reports. “Yellowknife RCMP regrets the failure to notify the public of the Feb. 1 incident.”

“In this instance, a lack of adequate communication (between the justice department and the RCMP) was the primary factor in Zoe’s release not being brought to the attention of managing officers, and as a result, a review was not undertaken and a decision on whether to release information to the public was not made.”

The ongoing trial likely won’t recommence for some time, especially as the presiding judge is from Alberta and will have to return to the NWT for the trial to continue. A court date has been set for later this month to reschedule the trial.