October 10, 2013 - 12:56 PM
ALMOST FOUR YEARS TOTAL FOR BLACKMAILING YOUNG GIRLS ONLINE
VERNON - A Vernon man who lured children as young as 11 over the internet, blackmailed them, and kept folders of their naked photos on his cell phone will spend far more time in prison than anyone expected.
Provincial court judge Mayland McKimm sentenced Connor Dee, 28, to 42 months in prison—a year and a half more than was suggested by Crown and defence lawyers. Dee has spent the equivalent of the last 18 months in prison awaiting trial or sentencing, leaving him two remaining years in custody. After that, he will be on a strict three year probation, prohibited from visiting parks, pools and other public places where a person under 16 is likely to be. Use of a cell phone and the Internet will be banned, with possible exceptions for work.
McKimm said Dee lacks remorse for what he has done and that his “expressions of regret ring hollow.” During court proceedings, Dee—dressed in a short sleeved blue button up shirt and jeans—sat motionless as McKimm detailed his offenses with five victims ranging in age from 13 to 17.
Dee communicated with the girls through text messages and social media sites such as Yearbook. Eventually, he would ask for a nude photograph, which would become leverage for future requests. If the girls wanted to stop, he threatened to post what photos he already had onto the Internet. While the relationships were primarily carried out through electronic means, Dee did on several occasions meet in person with his victims. One night, an 11-year-old Okanagan girl met with him and they had unprotected sex.
McKimm said these offenses could easily earn 53 months of incarceration, but reduced that to 42 because of Dee’s young age and lack of a previous criminal record.
According to a pre-sentence report, the 11-year-old is being treated for post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Her grandmother said she is angry, distrustful, and unable to make friends. Another victim reported that “to this day she does not feel 100 per cent safe in her hometown.”
An ex-girlfriend who had a child with Dee came to watch the proceedings. Candice Klyne said she’s relieved to see him going back to jail, and thinks the sentence should have been longer. They were only together six months, she said, but it was long enough to see that there was something off about him. He’d spend hours and hours on the computer “and now we know why,” she said.
“I feel really bad for them, those poor girls that he scarred for life,” she said. “That’s not fair to them... I think he should rot in jail for what he’s done.”
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