12-year child porn sentence longest in province’s history
A provincial court judge imposed the highest child porn-related sentence in Saskatchewan history on a Saskatoon man who paid for, and directed, the live-stream online sexual abuse of children overseas.
On Tuesday, Philip Michael Chicoine, 28, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for luring children to make child pornography, making his own child porn and sharing it with others, and arranging to commit sexual offences against a child during a six-year period.
Before Tuesday’s decision, the lengthiest child porn sentence in Saskatchewan was eight years.
Chicoine pleaded guilty to 40 charges in April. The offences are “very serious,” Judge Vanessa Monar Enweani noted in her decision — all of them carry mandatory minimum sentences.
Chicoine paid $23,000 to watch impoverished mothers in Romania and the Philippines abuse children — often their own — between 2011 and 2017, court heard during his two-day sentencing hearing in June. He then took screen shots of the live-stream abuse, creating child porn involving approximately 18 victims, some as young as 10 months old.
In chat conversations with other pedophiles, Chicoine talked about hurting kids during sex acts — which was present in his large collection of “hurt core” porn, depicting the torture of children.
Cpl. Jared Clarke, an investigator with the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit, told court it was the worst collection he has seen in his six years with the unit.
The 17-year sentence sought by the Crown was “representative of the horrors that these children had been put through,” Crown prosecutor Lana Morelli said outside court. She previously argued Chicoine was just as culpable as the women he instructed to perform sex acts on children.
As of Tuesday, Clarke said nine children had been rescued in the Philippines after a female suspect was arrested over the weekend.
Three Romanian women have already been sentenced in connection with the case.
Defence lawyer Val Harvey argued Chicoine’s lack of hands-on offending warranted a seven-year sentence. In her decision, Monar Enweani agreed that the Crown’s proposed sentence was too high, noting that 14- to 18-year sentences involve offenders who committed hands-on abuse.
Monar Enweani gave Chicoine a credit of 1.5 days for each of the 251 days he spent on remand, leaving him just under 11 years to serve.
She recommended he serve his federal term at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon because he would benefit from therapy and services available there.
“I think there is hope for your rehabilitation” she said.
According to a pre-sentence report, Chicoine was assessed as a moderate to high risk to reoffend sexually. He also asked for sex offender treatment.
Court heard Chicoine has severe social anxiety and was diagnosed with learning disabilities in high school.
As part of his sentence, he must comply with the sex offender registry for life and is prohibited from using the internet, except for employment purposes, for 10 years following his release from custody.
The Crown asked that Chicoine’s parole eligibility be delayed until he has served half his sentence, rather than the mandatory onethird. Monar Enweani ruled that “additional form of punishment” isn’t necessary to satisfy the sentencing principles of denunciation and deterrence.
Philip Michael Chicoine