At Penticton’s courthouse, the power outage caused the shutdown of all courtrooms, at least one of which had several people waiting to be heard by a judge on various matters. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

Child porn forum moderator in Penticton sentenced to five years

Penticton man Tyler Walker had a high-level of involvement in the creation of two child porn forums

A Penticton man was sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in child pornography forums on the dark web that had over 2,500 members join in a matter of two weeks.

Tyler David Walker, 21, was initially arrested on the matter in March 2017 as police executed a search warrant on the house he lived in with his mother, and seized his computer — which was signed into Child’s Play, a child porn forum he helped to create — and other electronics.

Related: Penticton man pleads guilty to creating a child porn forum

In the pre-sentencing report, the psychiatrist offered the opinion that Walker is of low to moderate risk to re-offend if he engages in therapy and remains compliant to his medications.

“Long-story short, I take from that Mr. Walker at this time remains an untreated pedophile,” said Judge Gale Sinclair.

The psychiatric report said Walker minimized his role as manager of the websites that involved child pornography.

“The doctor also finds that Mr. Walker’s insight is improving, but he still displays maladaptive cognitions and minimizes the significant of his offending behaviours. For example, believing that the children in the pornography were not being harmed,” said Sinclair.

The decision comes following a Dec. 13 disposition hearing in which Crown lawyer Andrew Vandersluys and defence lawyer Norm Yates pushed for widely varied sentences. Crown called for six to eight years in prison, while defence hoped to keep Walker in the provincial system, which would require a sentence of less than two years, but suggested a range of two to five years.

During the disposition hearing, Vandersluys characterized Walker as a high-profile character in the child porn community, having split off from a larger site, the Gift Box Exchange, to help set up a new forum, Child’s Play. In planning for the new forum, Walker had noted some users began to disappear from the Gift Box Exchange site, and was suspicious of police activity.

Vandersluys said in the December hearing Walker’s suspicious were “correct that police are now closing in, ultimately closing on him,” with a joint investigation involving RCMP, Toronto Police and U.S. Homeland Security in full swing by then.

Though Walker at times appeared to distance himself from “hurtcore” — child pornography that showed children in distress — Vandersluys also pushed evidence Walker had uploaded videos of hurtcore pornography and was again involved in the creation of a new forum, Hurt Meh, this time directed specifically at hurtcore.

Yates countered that Walker is still young with no criminal history, and while he was “immature” before the arrest and he had come to appreciate the gravity of his actions. In hopes of getting Walker psychiatric help, Yates said the best facility would be the Chilliwack provincial jail, Ford Mountain Correctional Centre.

Walker recieved credit for the time he has been in custody behind bars leading up to his sentence and will have 45 months left in prison. He also will serve the maximum amount of probation, three years.

Walker was ordered to be on the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for 20 years, must not go to any park or public swimming area where anyone under the age of 16 could be in attendance, cannot be employed or volunteer where he will be in a position of trust of anyone under 16 and is to have no contact with anyone under the age of 16 unless under supervision. Walker will be allowed to use electronic devices that can get on the internet, but must not be able to delete the history should his parole officer or a peace officer want to view it.

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