A Penticton man is spending a year in jail after the pictures of his ex-wife’s young daughters were deemed child pornography.
The man, who can only be identified as F.L. due to a publication ban protecting the identities of the victims, was found guilty in January of possessing child pornography, making child pornography and one count of voyeurism.
F.L. took approximately 100 photos of the nine and four-year-old girls in 2012 on his phone while they were sleeping.
F.L. was residing with his ex wife in 2012 and three of her children from another marriage when he took photos focused on their clothed genital areas during a six-month period between May 4, 2011 and Nov. 29, 2012.
F.L.’s ex-wife discovered the photos in his email account, something F.L. said was intentional at trial. He admitted to taking the photos in a statement made at the Penticton RCMP detachment in December 2012, though he said in the confession that he did not do it for sexual purposes, but to get the attention of his spouse at the time.
“I just took those pictures because I wanted to hurt (my ex-wife) because we were not getting along,” F.L. told police in the 2012 interview, which was played at trial in 2015.
Defence counsel James Pennington pointed out the “unique” circumstances of the case, and all parties agreed the mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail was appropriate.
“In the usual course of events with child pornography I would agree completely with the Crown that these usually involve cases where kids have been subjected to abuse and sometime horrendous abuse, not the case here,” Pennington said. “This is nothing like that at all.”
Pennington outlined a pre-sentence psychological report providing details on F.L.’s childhood.
“He had what could only be described as a chaotic upbringing. Essentially abandoned by his natural family, a lot of alcohol abuse in his biological home,” Pennington said.
He noted that sometimes in foster homes life was not much better for F.L. At one of his foster homes, it was stated in the pre-sentence report, F.L. was at times made to sleep outside at night with the dog.
“In that case the dog was probably a better companion than the whole family,” Pennington said. Judge Meg Shaw noted that the events that unfolded are not on par with other child pornography cases.
“I agree with the statement that on the scale of the types of child pornography that come before the courts, this is definitely on the lower end of the scale. That does not minimize, nor excuse, the criminal behaviour,” Shaw said.
F.L. was banned from attending any public park, swimming area or any other place where people under the age of 16 are reasonably expected to be present. He will also be placed on the National Sex Offender Registry for life.