SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2016 ABQB 648, Mr. A, a 19-year-old man, was convicted of multiple counts of possession of child pornography, luring a child, criminal harassment, uttering threats and sexual interference. He had contacted multiple children and young adults through various websites including meetme.com, tagged.com, facebook.com, KIK and Skype to engage in explicit sexual discus-sions with apparently underage individuals and share pornographic images, including child pornography. 39 complaints were reported to the US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, which found that the IP address associated with the complaints was located in Canada. It passed this information on to the Canadian National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, which is operated by the RCMP. Not all of the complaints were criminal. A search of Mr. A’s electronic devices revealed communication with 12 underage girls, who are the complainants in this case.
During these conversations Mr. A, depending on the girl he was communicating with, expressed desires to make pornographic films with the girl, manipulated the girl by telling her he loved her, attempted with some success to arrange to meet with the girl for sexual encounters (some consensual, some non-consensual), requested sexual images, claimed to be a pedophile, discussed watching child pornography, masturbated on Skype, sent nude photos, sent child pornography, made derogatory and sexist comments about the girl, threatened rape and other forms of violence, and threatened the girl’s family members. He primarily communicated with the girls via social media sites, but also called at least one of the girls on the phone. One girl blocked him and told him that she did not want further communication with him, but Mr. A switched platforms to continue his unwanted communication with the girl. Two girls threatened to call the police. Several girls explicitly told him that they were fearful of him and were very uncomfortable with his communication. He also posted racist comments about one girl’s boyfriend on Facebook.
Mr. A was found guilty of multiple charges of criminal harassment, uttering threats, possessing child pornography, sexual interference, and child luring.
Mr. A brought several constitutional challenges including seeking a stay of proceeding due to his treatment in custody, and Charter challenges against the minimum punishments for sexual interference and corrupting children, and on the limits on credit for time served while on remand.
The court held that there were some instances where Mr. A’s treatment was constitutionally impermissible, but that a stay of proceedings was not appropriate and the violation was ad-dressed in sentencing instead. The constitutional challenges respecting credit for time served and minimum sentences were also dismissed.
Taking the Charter violation into account, Mr. A was sentenced to 12 years and three months of incarceration. Additional orders included providing a DNA sample, registration as a sex offend-er, no-contact orders with the victims, a 10-year limitation on his ability to work or volunteer, communicate with people under 16, limitations on his use of the internet or internet-connected devices while on parole, and limitations on using the internet anonymously or with encryption.