Penticton’s courthouse heard sentencing positions from defence (two to five years) and Crown (six to eight) for a 21-year-old man who was instrumental in developing a child pornography forum online. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

Penticton man pleads guilty to creating a chid porn forum

Tyler Walker was instrumental in creating a forum online and was involved in moderating others

A 21-year-old Penticton man is facing anywhere between two and eight years incarceration for his involvement in a child pornography community, including the creation of one website and the attempted creation of another on the dark web.

Tyler Walker pleaded guilty to one count of importing and distributing child pornography in the summer, but wasn’t up for a sentencing hearing until Wednesday morning.

Crown lawyer Andrew Vandersluys compared Walker to a high-level drug dealer, above the “street-level” dealers at the bottom of the chain. Walker had been instrumental in setting up one website on the dark web for people to share and watch child pornography, according to Vandersluys.

A joint RCMP, Toronto Police and U.S. Homeland Security investigation spanned years and resulted in numerous arrests of child pornography users and publishers on the dark web, a web space that cannot be found through regular means. Instead, users access .onion sites through a Tor browser.

Walker’s activities on one commonly used child pornography site ultimately led police directly to him through his internet protocol address through a “complex web of connections.”

“(Walker) introduced himself to other users on the Gift Box Exchange site indicating ‘hello, I am Drax. Many of you know me from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. What many of you never knew is I’m also a mad lover of little girls,’” Vandersluys said.

After users on another site began to disappear, Walker also played a role in setting up a site called Child’s Play, which he named and helped to design some features, moderate and administrate.

“It is around this time in the course of the police investigation that they’ve begun to arrest some people,” Vandersluys said. “Mr. Walker’s suspicions as indicated on the websites are correct that police are now closing in, ultimately closing on him.”

For some time, Walker was a moderator on the Child’s Play site, which, by the second day, had ballooned to 2,585 registered users.

Walker was also in later conversations on Gift Box Exchange discussing the creation of a “hurtcore”-specific site ultimately named Hurt Meh, aimed at content that would specifically show children in distress during sexual acts.

After police obtained a search warrant in March 2017, Walker was arrested as he was leaving his house, where he lived with his mother. In his room, a computer was running and signed into the Child’s Play website.

Vandersluys said the aggravating factors in Walker’s case were “significant,” noting his participation in the creation and administration of a website is more high-level involvement than uploading or downloading pornography.

Vandersluys suggested a sentence of six to eight years in prison for Walker.

Defence lawyer Norm Yates countered that Walker is still young with no criminal history to speak of. Yates said Walker was “immature” before his arrest, and has since come to appreciate the gravity of his actions.

Walker has reportedly attempted to get psychiatric help, which Yates said would be best facilitated at the Ford Mountain Correctional Centre in Chilliwack, something Walker echoed in his appearance over video.

“I have a future ahead of me, I have a long life ahead of me, and I don’t expect sympathy from anybody for what I’ve done,” he said.

In order to get into a provincial jail, a sentence of less than two years would be required, and Yates suggested a sentence of two years less a day to five years, with three years of probation.

Up to this point, Walker would be eligible for 411 days of advanced credit for time served, having been in Okanagan Correctional Centre for 274 days since his arrest.

A decision will likely not be made until the new year.


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Barley Mill Brew Pub adds second event for fundraiser for Willowbrook mother with cancer

Tickets to the dinner event on April 6 sold out, added a lunch event the same day

Armchair Book Club: Kate Atkinson’s Transcription stands well among her work

Heather Allen is a columnist for the Penticton Western News

League championship for Okanagan middle school

KVR Express boys basketball team wins league championship over Summerland Middle School

Top 5 unique accommodations on Airbnb in Penticton and area

Whether you’re looking for seclusion, charm or luxury, these venues have you covered for your stay

Column: Why your next vehicle might be electric

First Things First Okanagan column: Meeting the climate challenge

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Four people displaced by Taylor Road fire

The Kelowna Fire Department say no one wass injured and the cause of the fire is not suspicious

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Most Read