June 14th, 2024

Lethbridge man sentenced in child pornography case

By Delon Shurtz on July 6, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 42-year-old Lethbridge man caught last year in a province-wide child pornography sting has been sent to jail for 12 months.
Sean William Giles received the sentence Friday in Lethbridge provincial court, where Judge Paul Pharo also sentenced Giles to two years of probation following his jail term, and ordered him to submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank, and register with the Sex Offender Information Registry for 20 years.
Crown Prosecutor Carolyn Ayre had recommended Giles receive a sentence of 14 months, while Calgary lawyer John Oman had hoped the judge would agree with his recommendation for nine months.
Oman told Pharo during a sentencing hearing June 15, that Giles is remorseful, acknowledges his crime and chose to plead guilty to possession of child pornogrpahy rather than stand trial. He said Giles came across the images of child pornography while looking at adult pornography, 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.
Ayre acknowledged the mitigating factors of the case, including Giles’ guilty plea and remorse, but pointed out at the sentencing hearing police found 678 images of child pornography on Giles’ computer, and he was not just collecting the images, but sharing them, as well.
She said the 14 months in jail she recommended is actually in the low end of the range, and she could have asked for a longer sentence but chose not to 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.
The child pornography, she pointed out, includes images of male and female adults with young children, some only two to three years old.
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.

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