A 36-year-old Eckville pedophile  was sentenced to 18 years in prison and given a 10-year-long-term supervision order for abusing nearly a dozen children over a decade.
Black Press file photo

Updated: Central Alberta pedophile sentenced to 18 years in prison and declared long-term offender

Eckville man abused nearly a dozen children as young as two over nearly a decade

A 36-year-old Eckville pedophile who preyed on victims as young as two years old was sentenced to 18 years in prison and designated a long-term offender on Tuesday.

Red Deer provincial court Judge Jim Hunter agreed the man’s crimes, which include compiling one of the biggest child porn collections investigators have seen in Alberta, called for a 10-year long-term supervision order.

The order requires him to obey strict conditions once his prison sentence has been served. Given time-and-a-half credit for his two years in custody, he has 15 years left on his sentence.

The man pleaded guilty in October 2019 to multiple counts of sexual assault; sexual contact with a minor; sexually counselling a minor; possession of child pornography; making, printing or publishing child porn and voyeurism — 26 charges in all.

Over nearly a decade before his arrest in January 2019, the man compiled 180,000 images and 27,000 videos of children. Investigators said it was the largest collection of child porn videos and the second largest collection of child porn images ever seized in Alberta.

He recorded himself sexual assaulting or molesting children many times, sharing some of the images on online child pornography sites.

The man’s name cannot be published to protect the identities of his victims, who ranged in age from two to 10 years old. The Red Deer Advocate has also agreed at the request of the victims’ families to not reveal any information about their connection to the children’s abuser.

Hunter said the man’s crimes, which date back to February 2010 and included 11 victims, have left both the children and their families pscyhologically and emotionally devastated.

One woman, whose daughter was sexually abused, attempted suicide because of the guilt she felt at not being able to protect her child, according to her victim impact statement.

Another woman wrote about how she constantly worries how her daughter will cope when she fully understands what was done to her.

“These crimes affect every aspect of their lives on a daily basis,” said Hunter.

That the images were shared online means the victims and their families live in fear that others can still view the abuse suffered at the hands of a predator.

A lawyer for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection filed two community impact statements. They pointed out that each time an image is viewed those who were abused are “re-victimized” and that the ordeal never really ends for them.

Hunter said by distributing the images online “he has, in essence, participated in the abuse of thousands of children.”

The man was arrested by Sylvan Lake RCMP in January 2019 after Australian police tipped off the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s internet child exploitation unit about a central Alberta suspect using a photo sharing site used by child pornographers.

Investigators searched homes in Eckville and Fox Creek associated with the suspect and recovered the huge number of photos and videos. They were collected and carefully catalogued on a device that was protected by a complex password that investigators were lucky to crack.

Given the scope of the man’s crimes, Calgary special prosecutor Carolyn Ayre sought to have the man declared a long-term offender, which allows for additional supervision once a person has completed their sentence.

A hearing was held last October in which a number of witnesses testified, including experts in psychologists and psychiatrists who had assessed the man.

It was determined he suffered from pedophilia disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder but was considered only a “moderate risk” to reoffend.

In ordering the 10-year long-term supervision order, Hunter said he accepted the man’s remorse and took into account that he pleaded guilty rather than subject his victims to lengthy court proceedings.

The man is considered a life-time sex offender, which means he must abide by strict conditions limiting his access to computer devices that can access the Internet and ensuring he is kept away from any places where children are likely, such as schools, playgrounds and pools, unless he is accompanied by a responsible adult.

Since the man took thousands of voyeuristic photos at malls and Sylvan Lake’s beach his access to those types of places is also restricted. He must also have no contact with his victims and must stay at least one kilometre for their homes when he is released.

Ayre had sought a 20-year sentence as well as a 10-year-long-term supervision order but was satisfied with the judge’s decision.

“It was a well-thought-out decision,” she said, adding there were many issues to be weighed.

The man is also banned from owning weapons for life and must submit DNA to a national database.

Just Posted

Patrons rip around a corner on the go-kart course at Lakeshore Go-Karts and Mini-Golf. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake go-kart and mini golf course reopens after fire

Last August the outdoor facility was shut down after a fire burned through much of the business

(File photo from The Canadian Press)
Red Deer down to 66 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer has lowest number of active cases since last November

A small selection of shoes line a step at the Municipal Government Building in Sylvan Lake, with each pair representing a vicitm of residential schools in Canada. Tracey Greinke placed the first pair of shoes on the steps, hoping more would follow. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake woman sets up small memorial for residential school victims

Tracey Grienke placed a pair of moccasins on the steps of town hall, and a few more followed

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Left handed pitcher Evan Wilde started the game for Sylvan Lake and allowed four runs in the 12-10 extra-innings loss against the Edmonton Prospects on Sunday in Western Canadian Baseball League play. (Photos by Byron Hacket/Blakc Press News Media)
Historic opening weekend for Sylvan Lake Gulls

The Gulls finished the opening weekend with one win and two losses

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

A pair of Alberta residents were arrested after police responded to a report of a woman who had allegedly been assaulted and confined against her will on June 20, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP arrest 2 Albertans suspected in alleged assault, unlawful confinement

Firearms, stolen items seized including NHL hockey cards believed to be worth thousands

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

Most Read