Vernon man found with 50,000 images of child sex abuse seeks house arrest | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Vernon man found with 50,000 images of child sex abuse seeks house arrest

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A Vernon man caught with 50,000 images of children being sexually abused has asked a judge for a sentence of house arrest.

At the Salmon Arm courthouse today, Nov. 29, Ryan Adrien Pelletier's lawyer cited his client's "tragic" upbringing and genuine remorse as reasons he shouldn't do time behind bars.

The case dates back to 2019 when Facebook alerted the RCMP that someone at an address in Enderby had shared images of children being sexually exploited.

Police obtained a warrant and searched the property, finding eight SD cards hidden in a glasses case.

Pelletier wasn't home at the time but handed himself in to police the next day.

He later avoided going to trial and instead pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of child pornography.

Crown prosecutor Alison Buchanan said the SD cards contained 250,000 images and videos, of which 50,000 met the definition of child pornography.

The images included young children posing in a sexual manner, children performing sexual acts, and adults having penetrative sex with young girls.

The court heard that some of the children were as young as four or five years old.

The Crown argued the 39-year-old should receive 12 to 16 months in jail.

Defence lawyer Jonathan Avis pointed to his client's highly unstable upbringing as reasons why 18 to 24 months house arrest would be more appropriate.

The court heard that Pelletier is Indigenous and had never known his father. His mother spent time in jail for involvement in a murder and he has spent some time living with his grandmother.

At one point while living back with his mom, she once beat him so badly that he now suffers permanent hearing loss.

Avis said he spent his remaining childhood bouncing around through multiple foster homes.

In one of those foster homes, he'd been sexually abused by an older foster child.

Avis said that it was remarkable given his childhood that prior to this offence, he had no criminal record and led a productive life.

Pelletier has four children from a former 10-year relationship and pays $400 child support per month.

After being charged, he lost his job and home and ended up living in a homeless shelter. He recently found permanent housing and was back working as a drywaller.

The defence pointed out a psychological assessment placed him at the lowest scale to re-offend.

Avis said his client had been Googling regular adult pornography and stumbled on a site that contained child pornography.

"He just clicked on it (and) from there became a compulsion for him," Avis said. "He describes... wanting to stop and not being able to and knowing it was wrong."

Avis pointed out Pelletier had been on bail for two-and-a-half years and had not once broken his bail conditions.

The defence said while the images were "sickening," Pelletier was genuinely remorseful and had taken proactive steps at putting his life back together.

"A jail sentence would basically send him back to square one," Avis said.

The Crown argued that house arrest wasn't enough, pointing to the sheer number of images Pelletier possessed.

"This is an offence that deals with the abuse of children and it is mandated that deterrence and denunciation are the primary sentencing objectives in these types of cases," Buchanan said.

Although Judge Dennis Morgan had previously said he would decide on a sentence in the afternoon, after hearing the lawyer's submission he said he needed more time.

Pelletier will now have to wait until the new year before he finds out whether he'll do jail time.

READ MORE: Kamloops sex offender sentenced to prison for possessing photos, videos of exploited kids


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