2005 BCCA 584

In 2005 BCCA 584, Mr. I was convicted of possessing child pornography. He had secretly filmed four teenage girls and one adult woman who were using his bathroom to shower in his home. The girls were friends of his teenage daughter. They were clearly nude in the images and their sexual organs were exposed but there was no sexual activity in the images. The filming would stop when the girls were dressed.

At trial, he was sentenced to a nine-month sentence served in the community and two years’ probation.

He appealed his sentence, arguing the videos were not child pornography because he did not take them for a sexual purpose.

In assessing whether the images were taken for a sexual purpose, the appeal court noted:

In this case, it is not determinative that the images depict only nude teenage girls and do not display overt sexual acts. Photographs of nude children may well constitute child pornography depending on their context. Part of the relevant context of these images is the surreptitious taking of the images, which resulted in the “un-guarded depiction of the sexual organs and nudity of the subject”. These images were not taken innocently. They constitute a serious violation of the privacy and dignity of these four young women. As the trial judge noted, the images resulted in the “sexual embarrassment” of the subjects.[1]

It was further noted that the interest in the videos was filming the girls while they were naked and they were placed on a video with more graphic images of the adult woman. Given both the content and the context of the videos, the court of appeal found “the only reasonable and objective conclusion is that the dominant characteristic of these videotapes was for a sexual purpose.”

Mr. I’s appeal of his conviction was dismissed.

Also see: 2003 BCSC 1992 (Trial).

[1] 2005 BCCA 584 at para 17.

Criminal Offence(s): Child Pornography Offences