12-year child porn sen­tence long­est in prov­ince’s his­tory

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - FRONT PAGE - BRE MCADAM

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

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