Court questions whether child pornography passes DO assessment test

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A Regina judge decides whether child pornography should be considered a serious personal offense to order an OD assessment.

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Thirteen years ago, James S. Millie was convicted of what the Crown then called “a horrific case of child exploitation.”

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After taking 31 graphic photos of himself performing sex acts with a very young girl – and then sending the photos to a man in the United States – Millie, then 36, was sentenced to four years in prison for this and other child pornography offenses. .

It avoided further criminal problems until 2019, when it was reported by the National Center for Combating Child Exploitation (NCECC) and the province’s unit against Internet Child Exploitation ( ICE) for possession, access and provision of child pornography.

Millie having pleaded guilty to these three most recent offenses, the Crown has initiated proceedings to determine whether he could be considered a dangerous offender (DO) or long-term offender (LTO).

But the matter is not that simple. A Regina judge must now decide whether she can, under the law, request an DO assessment – the necessary first step in the proceedings.

The question, as it was raised in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Regina this week, is whether child pornography offenses without a “practical” element – like Millie’s current offenses – count as an offense of serious personal injury (SPIO).

“One concern I have is that if in order to order a dangerous offender assessment – I have to be satisfied that this is a serious personal offense – in making the order I am setting a precedent or jurisprudence Said Judge Catherine Dawson.

While it was expected that she would order an LTO assessment in all cases, she wished to determine whether she could order the assessor to perform an OD assessment as well.

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Defense lawyer Rod Simaluk did not object to Crown Attorney Roger DeCorby’s request for an assessment. Dawson is expected to render a ruling next week.

Under the Criminal Code, Millie’s current offenses are contained within the parameters of Section LTO. An LTO designation typically involves a prison sentence followed by a period of long-term supervision.

On the other hand, a DO designation could result in either a standard sentence, an LTO-type sentence, or an indeterminate sentence.

But under the Criminal Code, the path to an DO finding is different. One of the routes – and the one in question here – involves an offender who has been convicted of a SPIO while exhibiting persistent or repetitive behavior and failure to restrict his actions.

Discussing the case in court this week, DeCorby said the section on DO and SPIO applications speaks not only of a threat to life and safety, but also to the physical and mental well-being of individuals. others. He added that the courts have found that child pornography offenses are more than “pictures on the Internet”.

“A lot of (victims of child pornography offenses) have made compelling statements about the victim’s impact on how it causes psychological damage to them on a daily basis, knowing that the material is available,” DeCorby argued.

In the court case, Millie’s online activity was first spotted by the CNCEE, which forwarded her to ICE for investigation. After tracing the offending IP address to Millie, police obtained a search warrant for her Regina address and seized several devices.

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A total of 90,708 images and 2,013 videos were found depicting material classified as child pornography. Of these, 13,286 images and 131 videos were found to be “unique”.

Police also learned that Millie uploaded 70 child pornography images to the web and admitted to police that he shared material with another user. He also recognized his interest in pornography featuring children between the ages of eight and 14.

The offenses took place between October 11 and November 20, 2019.

DeCorby said the hope is that the assessments will be ordered and that any debate on the SPIO issue will be addressed at the hearing – currently scheduled for October.

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