Daycare Worker Handed Prison Sentence Following Peel Regional Police Investigation

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WARNING: Disturbing details of sexual assault contained in article

A daycare worker who was convicted of sexually assaulting toddlers in his care—and taking pornographic pictures of them—is facing a nine-year prison sentence.

According to an Ontario Court of Appeal document, the man in question—identified as SC in the document—pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual assault, eight counts of making child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

The Crown argued for a 15 year sentence, but the Ontario Court of Appeal rejected the bid.

The Crown says the sexual assault and making child pornography offences were committed against young children under the respondent's care in a daycare centre. The Crown argued that the sentence the trial judge imposed "failed to satisfy the principle of totality, ran afoul s. 718.3(7) of the Criminal Code because consecutive sentences were not imposed on some counts, overemphasized some mitigating factors, and was demonstrably unfit."

The document says that Peel Regional Police obtained a warrant and conducted a search of the man's residence.

The documents indicate the man's computer was found to contain a "massive amount" of graphic and highly disturbing child pornography involving young prepubescent children, some in the form of still images and some in the form of videos.

The police also found a folder labeled "I Me Mine" containing close-up pornographic images and videos taken by the respondent of eight female toddlers between the ages of two and three years.

In an agreed statement of facts filed on the sentencing proceeding, the respondent admitted that during the toddler's nap period when he was supervising them on his own, he pulled down their clothing and undergarments and took close-up photographs with his phone while touching them.

The Ontario Court of Appeals judge said that at the time of sentencing, the respondent was 38 years old, single and had no prior criminal record. He lived with his mother and had worked at several daycare centres as an early childhood educator for a number of years.

The documents say the man maintained that the children were asleep when he sexually assaulted them and he filed written apologies for his conduct. He admitted that he had an unhealthy affection for the children, that he was addicted to child pornography, and that he had become obsessed with acquiring more and more images.

According to the documents, the Crown argued that a sentence of 17 to 19 years was the appropriate range but recommended a sentence of 15 years' imprisonment to take into account the principle of totality and mitigating circumstances.

The man's legal council asked for a global sentence of six years.

The trial judge gave oral reasons for imposing a global sentence of nine years, which comprised of six years for the sexual assaults, one year for making child pornography and two years for possession of child pornography.

"There can be no question that these were very serious offences that called for a substantial prison sentence. The victims of the sexual assault and making child pornography were defenseless toddlers," the Ontario Court of Appeals' judge wrote.

"The respondent was entrusted with their care. He abused his position of trust to satisfy his sexual cravings. The victim impact statements powerfully demonstrate the harm caused to the families of the victims. The quantity of child pornography in the appellant's possession was massive. The content was disturbing in the extreme. It depicted scenes of sexual abuse on a very large number of children who were the victims of an entirely evil industry.

The judge says the nine year sentence is appropriate considering the gravity of the crime.

"The appellant was prepared to risk the lives of innocent children to satisfy his sexual cravings. His conduct was reprehensible and it must be condemned in the strongest of terms. The harm occasioned by the appellant and others like him is cause for grave concern. Children are robbed of their youth and innocence, families are often torn apart or rendered dysfunctional, lives are irretrievably damaged and sometimes permanently destroyed. Because of this, the message to such offenders must be clear - prey upon innocent children and you will pay a heavy price!"

"In my view, the trial judge was entitled to conclude that the sentence sought by the Crown would not be consistent with the principles of proportionality and totality. For these reasons, I would dismiss the appeal."

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