Cor­ner Brook man fac­ing 1-2 years in jail for child pornog­ra­phy charges

The Western Star - - SPECIAL FEATURE - CORY HUR­LEY

COR­NER BROOK — A Cor­ner Brook man who up­loaded and kept child pornog­ra­phy on two de­vices in 2016 couldn’t hold back tears as he was led out of court in hand­cuffs Tues­day, April 23.

Jef­frey Joseph Hunt, 30, was due back in pro­vin­cial court on Mon­day, April 29, for sen­tenc­ing by Judge Wayne Gorman.

Ac­cord­ing to the facts read by Crown at­tor­ney Trina Simms and agreed upon by le­gal aid lawyer Jamie Lus­combe, the Canadian Po­lice Cen­tre for Miss­ing and Ex­ploited Chil­dren and Be­havioural Sciences Branch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Po­lice (RCMP) re­ceived a tip from Drop­box — an In­ter­net file shar­ing ser­vice — of child pornog­ra­phy be­ing up­loaded in Septem­ber 2016.

Through the course of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the up­load was linked to Hunt. Three de­vices were seized, two of which con­tained six videos con­tain­ing child pornog­ra­phy. Simms had no specifics to re­veal to the court about the na­ture of the videos, other than it in­volved cat­e­gory one child pornog­ra­phy.

Hunt was charged with sin­gle counts of pos­sess­ing and ac­cess­ing child pornog­ra­phy in July 2018. Tues­day, he pleaded guilty to the two charges.

Simms rec­om­mended a jail sen­tence be­tween 15 and 24 months for the first-time of­fender. She sug­gested the num­ber of videos — six in this case — does not lessen the range of sen­tence nor the harm­ful im­pact child pornog­ra­phy of­ten has on its vic­tims and so­ci­ety.

With­out ac­cess­ing or pos­sess­ing child pornog­ra­phy, its pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion would not ex­ist, the at­tor­ney sug­gested Gorman con­sider in sen­tenc­ing. Simms ar­gued the fact child pornog­ra­phy has reached lev­els never imagined, sen­tenc­ing must be re­flec­tive of its un­ac­cep­tance and de­ter­rence.

Simms also asked for a Sex­ual Of­fender In­for­ma­tion Reg­is­tra­tion (SOIR) or­der for 20 years, a DNA or­der, and a sec­tion 161 or­der in­volv­ing Hunt’s di­rect and in­di­rect pres­ence with peo­ple un­der the age of 16 and use of the in­ter­net (other than for work or ed­u­ca­tion pur­poses). She also re­quested the two de­vices with the child pornog­ra­phy be de­stroyed.

Lus­combe asked Gorman to im­pose the min­i­mum one-year jail sen­tence.

He in­di­cated the facts would have mer­ited a six-month sen­tence, if the Crown did not pro­ceed by in­dict­ment in the mat­ter.

He sug­gested the low num­ber of videos were rel­e­vant in sen­tenc­ing, and sug­gested it re­flected a brief pe­riod of time rather than the count­less hours, and some­times thou­sands of videos, seen in some cases be­fore the court.

Lus­combe said Hunt did not have an easy up­bring­ing and has strug­gled with so­cial ac­cep­tance. He said the pre­sen­tence re­port re­ferred to the possibilit­y of some abuse in his child­hood, and pe­ri­ods of hos­pi­tal­iza­tion for self harm and his bipo­lar di­ag­no­sis.

While tak­ing no issues with the or­ders re­quested by the Crown at­tor­ney, Lus­combe did ask for a con­di­tion al­low­ing Hunt to ac­cess the In­ter­net in the pres­ence of an­other adult as to al­low him to main­tain con­tact with his two chil­dren who are out of the province.

Hunt de­clined to ad­dress the court when given the op­por­tu­nity to do so.

Gorman or­dered Hunt into cus­tody un­til sen­tenc­ing on Mon­day.

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