Courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo man pleads guilty to sex assault, child porn charges

42-year-old to be sentenced in March in B.C. Supreme Court

A Nanaimo man pleaded guilty to three charges related to child pornography in B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

A 42-year-old who worked for the City of Nanaimo was arrested in 2017 for a number of charges, including sexual assault, making child pornography and possessing child pornography. The News Bulletin is choosing not to publish the name of the man who pleaded guilty in order to protect the privacy of a victim who cannot be identified under a publication ban.

An agreed statement of facts from Catherine Hagen, Crown counsel, and Cheyne Hodson, the accused’s legal counsel, stated that the man had a significant amount of pornographic material, including close to 1,500 photographs and images, some involving young girls, on a laptop which was seized by police.

Hagen showed the court video from a cellphone depicting the guilty party performing sex acts with a minor.

Hagen said Crown seeks a jail sentence of five to eight years. Citing a pre-sentence report, Hagen said the accused has a moderate to high risk of re-offending.

Hodson sought a sentence of two to three years and referring to the report, said his client has a history of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. While he has been sober since March 2018, he was an alcoholic and has been drinking since he was 10 years old.

Citing the report, Hodson told the court his client has been “heavily into pornography since his teens.” He started viewing child pornography in 2014 or 2015 and it became a component of his addiction.

He previously suffered an injury and was taking painkillers, which he began abusing, said Hodson, who also said his client has made steps to improve himself with regular counselling and a newfound devotion to religion.

Judge Stephen Kelleher said he would rule on the case at a later date. A date for sentencing is expected to be fixed on March 4.

Neither Hodson nor Hagen wished to comment.


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