Ontario Provincial Police have filed new charges against Adam Capay, the 26-year-old Lac Seul First Nation man who spent 1,647 days in solitary confinement before a Thunder Bay judge issued a stay of his first-degree murder charge in January.
On Monday, Mr. Capay appeared for a bail hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice in Sioux Lookout, Ont., where he’s facing charges of sexual assault with a weapon and mischief stemming from an incident that took place some time on March 5 or 6.
On March 8, the Lac Seul Police Service launched an investigation into Mr. Capay after receiving a report of a damaged door at a property owned by the local housing authority. Pauline Lac Seul, manager of the housing authority, said the door and frame at one of its units were seriously damaged.
Lac Seul authorities soon referred its investigation to the OPP’s Sioux Lookout Regional Crime Unit, which handles major case files in the area. Police arrested Mr. Capay later on March 8.
OPP spokesman Sergeant Mike Golding said he could not divulge any other details about the case to protect the integrity of the continuing investigation. Calls to lawyers who represented Mr. Capay on previous cases were not returned.
A Thunder Bay judge issued a stay of proceedings in Mr. Capay’s first-degree murder case on Jan. 28, citing multiple breaches of his Charter rights. The decision effectively cancelled the case against Mr. Capay before it could reach trial.
The judgment catalogued years of extreme isolation Mr. Capay experienced at Thunder Bay District Jail, and how his 4½ years in segregation exacerbated existing mental-health issues, leading to hallucinations, homicidal ideation and self-harm.
Justice John Fregeau ruled that the jail provided little treatment for his mental-health issues, nor did it carry out dozens of mandated hearings to review Mr. Capay’s continuing placement in segregation.
Mr. Capay spent much of his segregation in cells surrounded in Plexiglas and illuminated around the clock.
His lawyers conceded that he stabbed Sherman Quisses to death on Jun. 3, 2012, but argued that his treatment at the Thunder Bay jail had so impaired his memory and mental state that he was incapable of mounting a defence.
Justice Fregeau ruled that a stay was the only solution to a case in which the Charter violations were so “prolonged, abhorrent, egregious and intolerable.”
The case originally came to public attention after Ontario’s chief human-rights commissioner toured Thunder Bay District Jail and met Mr. Capay. She later told reporters that Mr. Capay had struggled to speak and complained of deteriorating mental health from his years in segregation.
In December, 2016, a court ordered his transfer from the Thunder Bay jail to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Lac Seul First Nation is situated about 400 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay and has a total registered population of 3,372. Ms. Lac Seul said the community has a couple of addiction counsellors, but lacks the kinds of mental-health supports needed to treat Mr. Capay’s complex needs.