2018 BCPC 187

In 2018 BCPC 187, Mr. B, a 36-year-old man, was original charged with several counts of child luring and child pornography offences. Mr. B created written child pornography with the messages he exchanged with other people on messaging apps, including Kik, that discussed the abuse of children and “incest families.” He shared that content and other child pornography with others and was an active participant in this community. He also tried to lure a child on the internet to facilitate a child pornography offence by engaging in sexual communication with a child from the Philippines, Ms. S. He convinced her to send him images of her in her bra and requested more images.

Mr. B’s distribution of child pornography came to the attention of the Integrated Child Exploitation Unit. A search of devices in his home resulted in both child and bestiality pornography, including child pornography at the more harmful end of the spectrum. Mr. B admitted his interest in this type of pornography, but claimed he would never hurt or touch his young child or animals. He also admitted to accessing, possessing, and distributing child pornography. He pleaded guilty to child luring and the making, possession and distribution of child pornography.

The court noted the impact of internet luring on child victims, stating (citations removed):

The effects of internet luring on a child victim can be catastrophic, and the serious-ness of the offence is recognized in the case law, as “presenting a high risk of causing both physical and mental harm to the potential child victims”. The offender’s culpability is high given the planning and premeditation that is inherent in these types of offences. The case law is comprised of two types of cases: those with actual child victims, and those with apparent child victims (usually undercover officers). Where there is an actual child victim, the case law recognizes this as significantly more harmful.[1]

Mr. B expressed some remorse, but did not fully accept the harms he caused. The court noted that one day he wore a shirt stating “In my defence I was left unsupervised” to court, which didn’t impact his sentence but was considered when assessing Mr. B’s accountability for his actions. Aggravating factors included his significant involvement in child pornography chat communities, the type of content in the images, the amount and frequency he distributed child pornography, among others.

He was sentenced to one year incarceration for internet luring and two years for the child pornography offences. Additional orders included registration as a sex offender, a DNA order, forfeiture of his smartphone, and a 20-year prohibition from being in contact with young people, no contact orders with several people; an internet prohibition on accessing illegal content or pornography, communication with a person under 16 through social networks, instant messaging, and chatrooms, peer to peer file sharing, and encryption software; access to the internet was only permitted with supervision and permission by the Court or for employment. Peace officers were permitted to monitor his compliance with these orders.

[1] 2018 BCPC 187 at para 43.

Criminal Offence(s): Child Pornography Offences, Luring a Child