June 15th, 2024

Judge reserves sentencing in child porn case


By Delon Shurtz on June 17, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man caught last year in a province-wide child pornography sting will find out next month exactly how much time he will have to spend in jail.
Following a sentencing hearing Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court, Judge Paul Pharo reserved his decision, and said he will sentence Sean William Giles July 2, after he’s had time to deliberate Crown and defence submissions.
The Crown is seeking a jail term of 14 months, followed by two years of probation, while Calgary lawyer John Oman has recommended a sentence of nine months with probation.
Oman told court Giles, 42, is remorseful, acknowledges his crime and chose to plead guilty to possession of child pornography rather than stand trial. He said Giles came across the images of child pornography while spending a “considerable” amount of time on his computer looking at adult pornography. He then uploaded the images and shared them on three occasions with other chatroom users.
“He advises and maintains, your honour, that he has no interest in child pornography,” Oman said.
However, Crown Prosecutor Carolyn Ayre said police found 678 images of child pornography on Giles’ computer, and he was not just passively collecting the images, but sharing them, as well.
She noted the 14 months in jail she is recommending is in the low end of the sentencing range, and said she could have asked for a longer sentence but didn’t because the images were not accessible to others without special software or forensic tools used by police investigators.
Ayre reminded the judge of the significant harmful effects of child pornography on children, families, communities and society, and said victims suffer the abuse in perpetuity because they have to live with the knowledge that their images created years ago are still being shared and viewed on the Internet.
“It’s just not something that goes away,” Ayre said.
She said Giles knew what he was doing when he downloaded and uploaded the images, and his moral blameworthiness is high.
The child pornography, Ayre pointed out, includes images of male and female adults with young children, some only two to three years old.
Ayre acknowledged the mitigating factors of the case, including Giles’ guilty plea and remorse, but she noted he was offending for several months between December 2019 and August 2020 and had a large collection of images, although not the largest she’s seen. The images were also graphic and Giles was sharing them with others.
Giles was one of 26 men who were charged last year with a total of 63 offences relating to online child sexual exploitation. 
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams’ ICE unit (internet child exploitation) made the arrests from June 20 to Sept. 17, 2020.
The probe into child pornography was assisted with referrals from the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Centre, which works with Internet and social media providers to track online child sexual exploitation.

Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter

Share this story:

4
-3
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments