A Penticton-area man was sentenced to nine more months and 10 days in jail after he was convicted of child pornography charges last year.
Jesse Prince was convicted of one count each of accessing and possession of child pornography, as well as two counts of importing or distributing child pornography on Dec. 4 last year.
Crown had sought a four-year sentence, while defence had asked for a more lenient sentence of 18 months in a sentencing hearing on April 27. Justice Kathleen Ker ultimately landed on a sentence of three years in a Monday morning hearing, which with time served amounted to 280 days.
Prince also has a 10-year ban on being in places where children can reasonably be expected to be, such as schools and playgrounds. He does have an exception to be in the presence of his own children on the condition that the children’s mother is presence.
He also has a ban on using the internet except for things like work-related issues, and is subject to random searches of his electronics.
Child pornography charges come with a minimum of one year in jail and a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
Justice Kathleen Ker pointed to Prince’s apparent lack of remorse, having continued denying the charges even since his conviction, as an aggravating factor. Prince had suggested he was interested in rehabilitation, but only for his substance abuse issues, not for issues related to the child pornography.
On the other hand, Ker noted Prince’s history with sexual abuse, learned by the court in a pre-sentence report. Ker also had to take into account Prince’s Indigenous heritage, particularly in the context of systemic repression, and referred to Prince’s “chaotic, dysfunctional family life” as a generational effect of residential schools.
“These unique background and systemic factors have no doubt played a significant part in bringing Mr. Prince before the court. Mr. Prince’s traumatic and damaging experiences through his formative years and his Aboriginal background inform my assessment of his moral culpability,” Ker said.
“Given the vile nature of the materials he collected and shared is modestly attenuated when viewed through the lens of his experience as a child.”
Yet that was, to some degree, countered by that apparent lack of remorse, and Ker said it was unknown how much of a risk Prince remains to be in the community. She did, however, note he does have the continuing support of his father, who would provide Prince a place to stay upon his release.
“The unknown quantity in all of this, however, is further risk to other children, given there is no demonstrated insight into his offending and no formal risk assessment to assist,” Ker said.
“While Mr. Prince did not directly abuse them by making the children perform the various sexual acts … the market perpetuates both the ongoing abuse through the sharing of the images, and drives the need for more imagery and therefore more abuse.”
Ker did note “rehabilitation remains a distinct possibility,” saying Prince did appear to be taking a first step toward addressing his traumas from his “chaotic” childhood.
Prince was arrested during an investigation from the Saskatoon Police Service, in which an undercover officer had began communicating with a man online about child pornography.
That man ultimately provided that officer with several files of child pornography. Through his IP address, police determined him to be located at Prince’s father’s house on the Penticton Indian Band reserve.
Upon seizing multiple devices, a hard drive and computer were found to have contained 300 files of child pornography. Prince had argued it was a family computer, and child pornography on the computer was not a result of his own use.
However, Ker determined that testimony to be “preposterous,” given expert testimony that only one person had used the computer.