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Summerland man escapes child porn charge in 'cautionary tale'

A Summerland man pled guilty to charges of voyeurism following an incident at a house party last February.
December 15, 2014 - 5:19 PM

"A FEW SECONDS OF DRUNKEN STUPIDITY AND YOU COULD BE COMMITTING A CRIME WITH MANDATORY MINIMUMS OF ONE YEAR:" CROWN

PENTICTON - A Summerland man pled guilty to voyeurism in Penticton Provincial Court Monday for actions Judge Gale Sinclair called “stupid in the extreme.”

The 19-year-old man, who can't be identified because of a publication ban, originally faced more serious child pornography charges because he took video of minors having sex at an informal Valentine's Day party at his home, according to prosecutor Catherine Crockett. During the evening, he took videos of the party with his cell phone when he heard that a male and female friend were in the spare bedroom having sex.

The accused went to the spare bedroom, opened the door and made an eight-second video of the couple. Later, he showed the clip to the girl's ex- boyfriend, hoping he would be upset. The ex-boyfriend, however, passed the video on to the girl’s step father.

“This is a cautionary tale,” Crockett told the court. “A few seconds of drunken stupidity and you could be committing a crime with mandatory minimums of one year (making child pornography). What started out as a harmless prank has serious consequences.”

The man had no previous convictions. Crockett also noted he held no animosity to the complainant, only to her ex-boyfriend. Crockett sought a fine of $500 to $1,000, 12 months probation and 30 hours community service work.

Defence lawyer Paul Varga presented letters attesting to his client's good character to Judge Sinclair, describing the video as “eight seconds of grainy footage."
He asked the court to consider a discharge.

“This was stupid in the extreme, wasn’t it? It’s also criminal,” Judge Sinclair told the defendant, who was prompted by the sheriff to stand as the judge addressed him. "Private is private.... There’s too much of this going on.”

Sinclair handed down a $500 fine and six months probation, with conditions attached. 

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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