Penticton man avoids jail time for possessing child porn | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton man avoids jail time for possessing child porn

A 77-year-old Penticton man will serve a one year conditional sentence and two years probation for possessing child porn.
January 26, 2021 - 7:30 AM

A former Penticton man will face house arrest for a year following sentencing for possession of child pornography in Penticton court today.

Robert Louis Katz entered a guilty plea to the single charge during court proceedings this morning, Jan. 25.

Crown Prosecutor Ann Lerchs told court Katz, 77, was charged on May 18, 2017.

Penticton RCMP executed a search warrant on Katz’ residence following a tip from British Columbia’s Counter Exploitation Unit of child pornography being downloaded to Katz’s internet address.

Police found 48 items, including an iPad, iPhones, thumb drives and memory sticks containing 515 images and one video of photos depicting children between the ages of three and 15 years old in sexual scenes, often involving adults.

Katz, who was living alone in Penticton at the time of the offences, was determined to be suffering from depression and cognitive issues.

Lerchs asked Judge Gregory Koturbash to consider a joint submission of a one-year conditional sentence followed by two years’ probation. She referred to several reports prepared on Katz’ behalf, including one from a geriatric psychiatrist, calling Katz’s situation one of “unique circumstances, including age and cognitive frailties.”

Defence lawyer Michael Shapray said his client recently moved from a Penticton retirement home to live with family in Victoria. He said his client suffered from a history of depression and early onset dementia and was taking medication for his issues.

“I am so ashamed and so deeply sorry for this. I’m sorry for taking the court’s time, I’m so sorry to my family… I feel much remorse for causing so much grief and worry and I’m sorry for those who have found themselves in such compromising and defenceless circumstances, and I understand this process,” Katz told the court by phone.

The judge agreed to the joint submission, calling it “appropriate under the circumstances,” and noting the “significant mitigating circumstances in the case.”

Katz faces a year of house arrest followed by two years’ probation, with restrictions on internet use. He will also have his name added to the sex offender registry for 10 years and will not be allowed to own a cell phone capable of accessing the internet.


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