SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2011 BCCA 116, Mr. C, a 39-year-old man, pleaded guilty to criminally harassing a young girl over a four-year period. Mr. C became obsessed with a 12-year-old television actress who he believed was communicating with him through pictures and videos. He contacted her, her friends, members of her family, and fellow cast members through social media networks and other forms hundreds of times. His messages were disturbing, and some contained overtly sexual messages. He also sent her inappropriate gifts and came to the studio where she worked uninvited. When speaking to the police he admitted to masturbating to her photos. Over time he manipulated people into disclosing contact information and personal information about the girl and her family. Police intervention did not stop his communication, neither did the complainant’s efforts to block him on social media and her requests that he stop contacting her. He would create new profiles and aliases on social media sites in an attempt to reach her. He created a fan site on the internet about her without her approval. At one point he communicated that planned to kidnap her and have a sexual relationship with her when she turned 16.
His communication caused her and her family to live in fear.
He was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment, three years of probation and additional or-ders to complete the Forensic Sex Offender Treatment, a DNA order, no contact order with Ms. A, her family or friends including (para 54) “emails, text messages, social networking sites, messages passed through friends and any other form of electronic communication”, keep his distance from places Ms. A or her family may be, prohibited from accessing the internet or possessing devices that allow access to the internet, including cellphones, not to access or possess pornography, report any current ISP accounts he has to RCMP, allow the police to examine his electronic devices, and prohibitions on his contact with children under the age of 16.
He appealed his sentence arguing 1) he was not appropriately credited for time in pre-trial custody; 2) due to a misapprehension of the evidence, the trial judge treated him as a pedophile or sex offender; and 3) the sentence was unduly harsh and ought to be found unfit. The Crown sought to vary the sentence to include a firearms prohibition. The appellant court added the mandatory firearms prohibition, but did not otherwise vary the sentence.
Also see: 2010 BCPC 417.
Criminal Offence(s): Criminal Harassment