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Former Princeton newspaper editor jailed on pornography charges

Donald William Mare is escorted to a waiting sheriff’s van at the Penticton Court House Monday after being sentenced to 21 months in jail for child pornography crimes. Mare (inset) is the former editor of the Similkameen Spotlight. - Mark Brett/Western News
Donald William Mare is escorted to a waiting sheriff’s van at the Penticton Court House Monday after being sentenced to 21 months in jail for child pornography crimes. Mare (inset) is the former editor of the Similkameen Spotlight.
— image credit: Mark Brett/Western News

The former editor of a Princeton newspaper has been sentenced to 21 months in jail for child pornography crimes dating back to as far as 2003.

Donald William Mare pled guilty to making or publishing child pornography, possession of child pornography and secretly observing/recording nudity in a private place. Judge Gale Sinclair sentenced Mare to 15 months on the child pornography charges and an additional six months for the voyeurism charge.

“I’m mystified how this behaviour occurred,” said Sinclair.

On Aug. 12, 2009, Mare had two guests stay over at his home. When he left for work in the morning, one of the guests uncovered a piece of paper in his computer room that had a naked women with a different face superimposed on her body. The guests informed RCMP of what they found.

Const. Bradley Matchin appeared in court on Monday, providing the judge with about eight binders of photographs in which Mare had essentially cut and paste photos of his teenage victim’s head onto pornographic images, some of women performing sexual acts. Matchin said some of the photos had the victim’s head and Mare’s head superimposed onto the same pornographic image.

Mare had also planted a video camera in a bathroom to record his victim. He then made at least six copies of the DVD, but Crown counsel said there was no evidence that he had distributed it anywhere. Amongst the evidence shown in court at the sentencing was a tin which contained underwear that was owned by the victim. RCMP had also found a zip-lock bag containing pubic hair, which Mare told them was his own along with his chest hair, but provided no reason as to why he had it.

The court heard Mare confess to RCMP that he was “pissed off” at his victim and had done this in revenge and he also used the pornographic images he created with his victim’s head on them for sexual purposes.

Defence lawyer James Pennington said Mare, who is now 59 years old, was in court to “man up to what happened.” Mare stood up to address the court, tearing up as he spoke.

“What I did was shameful and repulsive,” said Mare. “There is no excuse for what I have done. I’m deeply, deeply sorry for what I have done (to the victim).”

Crown counsel Catherine Crockett asked the court for a minimum 12-month and maximum two-year sentence for the “serious breach of trust.” She provided the court a dated victim impact statement and said an attempt had been made to reach out to the victim to provide an update.

“She refused to come to the phone and was so upset she had to leave work halfway through the day. She has become increasingly depressed and is distancing herself from friends and family,” said Crockett.

Mare was previously the editor of the Similkameen Spotlight, and the court heard he was dismissed from the job for viewing inappropriate content on his computer.

Once released from jail, Mare will be under a number of conditions including no contact with the victims, no access to Internet except as it relates directly for employment, he is not to possess pornographic images, cameras or video recording equipment and cannot attend public parks, schools or places where people under the age of 16 are likely to be. Mare will also be on the sexual offender registration for 10 years.

 

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