WASELENKOFF TRIAL: Father and son describe finding child pornography

KAMLOOPS – When Frans Van Der Woning and his son Ray were renovating Frans' McGill Road condominum one Saturday in 2012, they cut a hole in the ceiling and thought they found hidden treasure.

They reached between the floor joists shared with the unit above — belonging to retired special education teacher Jerry Waselenkoff — and found a number of compact discs. It wasn't treasure — it was the main evidence in Waselenkoff's trial for one count of possessing child pornography, now underway in Kamloops Supreme Court.

“I started thinking ‘why would someone throw CDs in a joist space?’” Ray told the court. He said he took two disks out and played them on his father’s computer.

“I know the first one we looked at was just pornography. It was just adults,” Ray testified. “We grabbed another disk, checked that one. And that’s where it got a little weird.”

Shortly after the discovery, and the cases of CDs were turned over to the RCMP, Frans said Waselenkoff invited him over to his apartment and sat across from him in the living room.

“We both knew why we were having this conversation. It was obvious it was going to be about the cases that were missing. The discussion went over what was there,” Frans said. “He said in his own words what was on the disks was bad.”

During Frans’ evidence, Waselenkoff took notes at a table beside the prisoner’s dock.

Frans said he asked Waselenkoff if he was on the disks as well, but he said no. He described feeling conflicted about contacting police after making the discovery. He said while they were not friends, Frans considered Waselenkoff an acquaintance whom he occasionally had coffee or a glass of wine with.

“He was a reasonable person,” he said. “He also indicated that he was trying to retrieve those cases in order to burn them. He wanted to get rid of them.”

After they talked about the disks, Frans said Waselenkoff spoke of his worry about the media attention because of his history as a school teacher. He talked about ending his life with sleeping pills, Frans said.

Waselenkoff’s trial is slated to run for four days.

To contact a reporter for this story, email gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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