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UPDATE: Former Vernon cop accused of child porn faces ex-wife-accuser on first day of trial

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July 13, 2015 - 5:27 PM

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KELOWNA – The ex-wife of a former Vernon RCMP officer accused of possessing child pornography in 2013 says she turned him in when she found more than 60 images of child porn on his computer. His lawyer, however, said she downloaded the images in an attempt to smear his image and take his children.

Ryan Hampton and Valerie Anne Little, 30, were both members of Vernon RCMP when they met and started dating in the early spring of 2010. They married roughly one year later and have three children together.

Crown lawyer Claire Ducluzeau called Little to the stand on the first day of trial in Kelowna Supreme Court today, July 13. He pleaded not guilty to counts of possessing and accessing child pornography, six counts of breach of undertaking for contacting Little when ordered not to and one count of attempting to obstruct justice by telling her not to contact police.

Little told Justice Barry Davies she first suspected her then-husband was looking at child porn when she found the search term “child porn” entered into a browser of one of two family computers in their home in June 2013.

She says she confronted him with what she found but was satisfied when he told her he was only trying to find images of teen girls.

"He was looking at a picture of a young girl with pigtails and small breasts. I said 'what are you looking at that for?'”

She admits their marriage was in trouble at the time and described their entire relationship as “difficult.”

“There was lots of fighting, reconciliation, lots of separations.”

In his opening statement, Hampton’s lawyer, Jason Tarnow, suggested she knew divorce was imminent and downloaded the images herself using a computer she set up but registered in his name.

“This was the beginning of a plan by Miss Little to come out better in the divorce where she wanted the children, she wanted the child support, she wanted the home,” he said.

Little, herself a member of the RCMP since 2009, says she decided to go to the police with her concerns after she found a USB drive that contained 62 images of child pornography, including pictures of kids of both genders under the age of 10. She was pregnant with their third child at the time.

“I had a glass of water and was just shaking,” she said. “Two of them looked just like my daughter… but I’m sure it wasn’t her.”

Tarnow also told Justice Davies Little first started planning ways to make his client look bad when he began trying to get his life together.

“He was significantly addicted to heroin, cocaine and alcohol. Because of his addictions, his work suffered tremendously and his home life was full of turmoil. He was a vulnerable mess of an addict and Miss Little preferred it that way,” he said.

Tarnow spent the afternoon grilling Little on what he called inconsistencies in her testimony. She told investigators in her intial statement she had very little knowledge of computers but conceded she downloaded and installed software that logs keystrokes in an effort to keep track of what he was doing online. She also knew how to clear browser history and was familiar with site tracking 'cookies' as well as programs designed to hide activity online.

“There was still a lot of distrust," she said. "He was leaving a lot. I wondered if he was cheating on me. He was downloading things all the time. I was still worried he was still searching for that stuff.”

Tarnow also told Justice Davies he believes Little bought the computer for herself.

“This was to be your computer, wasn’t it?" he said. "He didn’t want a pink computer.”

Both Crown and defence intend to call several witnesses over the course of the 10-day trial, including numerous other police officers.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was updated at 5:15 p.m. July 13, 2015 to include information from the afternoon session.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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