Oh Canada: Government Criticized After Ex-Sex Offender Found Administering Bizarre Penile Test on Children

What would be the most sought after job for an ex-sex offender. According to the article below, an ex-offender got a job operating a bizarre device used in Canada called the penile plethysmography (PPG) on children. It has been used for 25 years before finally be stopped by the Canadian government.

I will leave descriptions to the article, but I have never heard of such a device.

It was only ended after the disclosure that the government was having an ex-sex offender administering the test. This is truly unbelievable. I have been working as a criminal defense lawyer for decades and I have never heard of such a test.

Source: Gizmodo

13 thoughts on “Oh Canada: Government Criticized After Ex-Sex Offender Found Administering Bizarre Penile Test on Children”

  1. Did you know that treatment for former offenders has proven effective and that most sex offenders never commit another crime? Did you also know that making it more difficult for former offender to reintegrate into society increases recidivism?

    Would you like more *FACTS* ? If so, look at this website:


  2. if someones innocent and lands on the sex offender list, i wouldnt doubt that they start acting out secret desires perhaps even previously repressed since everyone conciders them an offender. lets face it, with a public sex offender list, it creates an entire industry for the sickest of the sickest to meet and hone there craft, i suggest locking people up for there terms and if they survive, let em out after words and concider them fine

  3. If I remember correctly from my days in corrections, PPG testing is actually conducted to allow for ” treatment ” of sex offenders. It is used in the Federal prison systems as well as through sex offender clinics upon release in order to monitor deviant arousal in sex offenders. It is actually a measurement technique used pre-treatment ( in order to determine the sexual preferences of the offender )and then post treatment in order to determine whether treatment techniques have been successful in changing sexually deviant behaviours. I have never heard of this testing being used on children, however I don’t doubt that it would be used on adolescent sex offenders as well.
    How a sex offender was ever hired to conduct this testing is beyond me, and is absolutely disgusting. As is the fact that a local choir master who was charged, convicted, and served minimal time for molesting hundreds of boys over a 20 year period of time is now working as a choir master in a city 2 hours away. Unfortunately, Canada, like most countries, continues to deny the seriousness of such crimes on past and future victims of these monsters.

  4. tomdarch—Basically, I was saying that primary sources should have been used for this article, not secondary sources like gizmodo and boingboing. I stand by everything I said, although I would like to remove the words “I assume”. I know what CBC is and I know that their article had credibility and gizmodo and boingboing’s articles did not. My only problem with politically and socially left-leaning folks is that there are too few of them in the U.S.A. The only link from our friend Prof. Turley is Gizmodo–I had to work my way backward through boingboing to find a credible source so that I could understand what the story was about. I used to get my news from another great Canadian network; SCTV. Wish they were still on, but at least I have the DVD’s.

  5. From what I’m reading on the “Centre for Forensic Neuroscience” site, the test itself seems to part of a pretty Orwellian approach. Basically, this sounds like a penis-specific polygraph, and there are very good reasons that polygraph “results” don’t generally meet the standards for admissible evidence.

    From the site:
    “Once confronted with the results of their physiological arousal to inappropriate images, the vast majority of offenders will admit to having such preferences…”

    There are two problems here: how do you know who are really offenders and is there a bright line result that separates “perverts” from “normal people”?

    I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to find that this “centre” unconsciously takes the position that “if you’ve been sent to us, then you must be an offender.” (aka Guantanamo thinking – “they’re the worst of the worst, or they wouldn’t be there.”) That their aim would be to tell everyone sent to them that they responded sexually to the nasty pictures they’ve been shown, so they must be bad, bad perverts.

    Just as polygraphs can be fooled, there must be instances where someone who is actually sexually violent has enough self control to create a false negative. How often do they run this “test”, and the “offender” doesn’t respond as expected? How do they respond in that situation. “Oh, so, uh, sorry, eh? We thought you were a total perv hoser, but, like, we guess you’re OK. So, uh, have a nice day, eh?” Somehow I doubt there are many conversations like that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they re-run the “test” until they get the results they were expecting.

    Later on: “This technology can supplement the available evidence when compiling a risk assessment for sexual violence which avoids the reliance upon self-reporting by the offender, and thus can be used for criminal and prison law matters.”

    If this is on par with polygraph technology for being a bit pseudo-scientific or prone to “getting the results we expected” then the above use is pretty scary…


    HenMan 1, August 18, 2010 at 1:43 am

    The source material here is NOT credible. The linked article is on gizmodo.com and it links to another article on boingboing.com, both of which are inaccurate and sensationalist. The boingboing.com article refers to a “fruit machine” and “peter meter”. The gizmodo.com article refers to “kids” and “children” being tested. To read an accurate account of the controversy, you need to go to links (from boingboing.com) to ctv.ca or cbc.ca. I assume these are Canadian TV networks.


    Please cite examples of why you think that gizmodo.com and/or boingboing.NET are “NOT credible.”

    I can’t really speak for Gizmodo, but boingboing.NET takes accuracy seriously and has a consistent track record of issuing corrections on stories that are found to have inaccuracies. They certainly operate with their tongue in their cheek (thus, terms like “peter meter” ). I suspect that your objection may be to their point of view, which is politically and socially left-leaning, rather than having any real evidence that Boing Boing isn’t actually “credible.” They aren’t usually “originating journalists” on stories. Rather it’s a blog, quite like this one, where the editors pick interesting stories, excerpt, comment on and link to the original source.

    It’s interesting that while you think Boing Boing isn’t credible, the only links you have to the standard journalistic coverage is through their very links. It is good that you take the time to read through the originating, linked stories. Even Prof. Turley falls short on summarizing the original story sometimes.

    And, really? You don’t know what the CBC is? You may want to ask yourself if you have any idea what a credible news source looks like if you aren’t familiar with the CBC. No one is perfect, but you’d be better off than most Americans if you got all your news from the CBC.

  6. A Plethysmograph is any instrument that measures change in volume.
    It can be something like a blood pressure cuff, or that curly telephone cord that is put around your chest to test lung expansion, or a tiny light shown into, say a finger tip, to detect, by absorption, changes in blood flow or amounts of hemoglobin.

    So the problem isn’t the test, its that fact that in this case the test allowed a sex offender to handle little boy’s penises.

    At a guess Canada stopped using it as a result of some idiots testing young males to see whether boys were more aroused by images of naked men than of women with the resultant “need” to heal them of their homosexual tendencies.

  7. The source material here is NOT credible. The linked article is on gizmodo.com and it links to another article on boingboing.com, both of which are inaccurate and sensationalist. The boingboing.com article refers to a “fruit machine” and “peter meter”. The gizmodo.com article refers to “kids” and “children” being tested. To read an accurate account of the controversy, you need to go to links (from boingboing.com) to ctv.ca or cbc.ca. I assume these are Canadian TV networks. Both refer to testing young sex offenders “as young as 13”, meaning adolescents, not “children” or “kids”. This testing is under investigation by the B.C. Civil Liberties Assoc. as well as B.C. government agencies.

  8. did I misread? they didn’t say how old but they did say the testing was being done on kids….what recidivism? what repetition of perverse sexual behaviour? other than the extremely trustworthy and upstanding tester….

  9. Oh yeah. It’s unreasonable to keep pedophiles away from kids. WTF are you talking about? You a priest or something?

    Especially since recent studies show that recidivism rates are lower than previously believed in the short-term, but still hovering at 50 percent over a 25-year “career”.

    You want to take that chance with your kids, constitutionalfights?

    You go right ahead. Child endangerment is a crime in U.S. jurisdictions just like pedophilia is a crime.

    But keeping pedophiles away from kids neither unjust nor unconstitutional.

    It’s common sense.

  10. Hurley, come on now. This testing method has been around for more than a decade. Another example of how governments and authorities are unconstitutionally targeting one group of citizens for a mistake they made in their past. Join the “hang them form a bridge” and “cut off their testicles” crowd.


  11. per the link ‘This technique can detect sadistic and paedophilic sexual preferences which are common amongst convicted sex offenders and relatively rarely found in the general population.’ and ‘CFN strictly complies with the British Psychological Society’s established guidelines which were published in September 1994 and 2008’

    methinks if this was being used on children then they were NOT complying strictly with said BPS guidelines…….someone, Mr. Turley, is pulling your chain…

    and 25 years of this testing????? Canada is off my civilized list….

  12. Ah ha, in search of the perfect penis…..nah, it appears that they were testing sex offender children to see if they were lying…..

    “Oh boy—where even to start with this one. Use of penile plethysmography (PPG), which measure your penis for arousal while viewing questionable content, is being ceased by the Canadian government. After being used on kids for 25 years.”

    What is questionable content? I am at a loss….

    Doesn’t the US government hire thieves anyway…to help solve crimes? Especially white collar?

    So, they hired a “sex” offender. What does that mean? The article is skimpy about facts on this…what was the person complained about offense? If it was children or a rape or something else. Ok, we have a problem. But if he was 18 and she was 17 (below the age of consent) then, do you really have a problem?

    I am saying that there are a lot of people on the sex offender registry that should not be registered as such. Like 14 year old boys, touching another boys crotch in the gym….FYI that is registrable as a sexual touching. Or the one that gets me is pissing in public…three states that I am aware of, if convicted, you must register. Stupid!

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