June 18th, 2018

Sentencing for child porn adjourned


By Shurtz, Delon on March 14, 2018.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A sentencing hearing for a Lethbridge teacher caught with child pornography last year has been adjourned, likely for several more weeks.

Dwayne Evan Schnell was scheduled to have the hearing Thursday, but the matter was brought forward Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court and adjourned until March 29 when a new date for the sentencing hearing will be set.

Schnell’s lawyer told court he had only recently received his client’s psychological assessment report and wouldn’t be ready to proceed with sentencing this week.

Schnell, a former teacher at Ecole La Verendrye school, was caught with images of child pornography, some of them of students, plus pictures he took of a young girl he knows.

Schnell, 37, was caught with the images early in 2017 and last October when he was set to have a preliminary hearing into child pornography charges, he pleaded guilty to charges of distributing, publishing and making child pornography.

Following the guilty pleas, Crown prosecutor Carolyn Ayre told court that on Dec. 27, 2016, Skype, a telecommunications app that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers and other devices, reported to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children that someone had uploaded a child pornography image. The image appeared to be a girl between the ages of 11 and 13.

Later, internet provider Yahoo reported that seven images, also child pornography, had been uploaded by one of its users. Both instances were investigated by ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation unit, which traced the images to Schnell.

Police searched Schnell’s home in Lethbridge in February of last year and, after searching his electronic devices, discovered shared images of child porn and numerous sexual-related online chats with apparently underage girls. Police also found on a Dropbox account belonging to Schell the 150 images of students that were taken without their knowledge, and the 55 child pornography images of another girl.

Following Schnell’s guilty pleas, the judge ordered a pre-sentence report, which will provide him with Schnell’s personal information and circumstances to help determine a fit sentence. A psychological assessment was also ordered, which, among other things, could determine whether Schnell is a pedophile and a risk to re-offend.

In the meantime, Schnell remains free on bail with conditions that he live with his parents in Calgary and not access the internet or have any contact with children under the age of 16.

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