Child lurer pleads guilty to two of 19 charges
By Charlotte Helston
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November 28, 2013 - 12:37 PM
VERNON - It looks like a large child pornography case won't go to trial, though the accused has only pleaded guilty to two of an original 19 charges so far.
David Willerth, 39, was arrested July 17 after a two-week joint investigation between the RCMP and B.C. Integrated Child Exploitation unit. Computers and other evidence were seized from Willerth’s 47 Avenue residence in Vernon. Police laid multiple charges including luring, invitation to sexual touching of girls under 16, obtaining sexual services of a person under 18, possession of child pornography, and making or publishing child pornography.
Willerth has been in custody since the arrest, and this week pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and luring a child under 16 via the Internet. For now, the rest will wait.
On Nov. 13, Crown counsel Shirley Meldrum said evidence and complainants continue to come forward through an ongoing police investigation. She said the number of victims had grown from two to as many as seven.
Defense counsel Claire Abbott is requesting a psychiatric report on Willerth before proceeding to sentencing. The roughly eight week exam will assess what risk he poses of reoffending. Until the report is complete, and all evidence is disclosed from the Crown, Willerth will not plead guilty to the remaining charges. Abbott said he has entered a confession and doesn’t expect the matter to go to trial.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013