Paul Bernardo sits in the back of a police cruiser as he leaves a hearing in St. Catharines, Ont., April 5, 1994. The federal public safety minister says reports of teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo being transferred to a medium-security prison are “shocking and incomprehensible.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Paul Bernardo sits in the back of a police cruiser as he leaves a hearing in St. Catharines, Ont., April 5, 1994. The federal public safety minister says reports of teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo being transferred to a medium-security prison are “shocking and incomprehensible.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Minister ‘shocked’ at reports of Paul Bernardo being moved to medium-security prison

He was initially incarcerated at Ontario’s Kingston Penitentiary and later spent about a decade at the Millhaven Institution

The federal public safety minister says reports of teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo being transferred to a medium-security prison are “shocking and incomprehensible.”

Citing prison union officials and the lawyer for the victims’ families, multiple media outlets say Bernardo was quietly transferred earlier this week to the medium-security La Macaza Institution, about 190 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

He was initially incarcerated at the Kingston Penitentiary in Ontario and later spent about a decade at the Millhaven Institution, a maximum security prison just outside Kingston.

Bernardo has been serving a life sentence for kidnapping, torturing and killing 15-year-old Kristen French and 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy in the early 1990s near St. Catharines, Ont.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says he expects the Correctional Service of Canada to take a victim-centred and trauma-informed approach in such cases, and that he plans to address the decision process for the reported transfer with the agency’s commissioner.

The Canadian Press has reached out to the Correctional Service of Canada for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

The Canadian Press

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