A man originally charged with dozens of sexual offences against children last year pleaded guilty to 19 of them in Whitehorse court Oct. 5.
The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his victims, pleaded guilty to nine charges of sexual interference, eight charges of producing child pornography and two counts of voyeurism.
The eleven victims of his crimes, which he committed between January 2008 and July 2013, were all girls the man knew were under 14 years old.
Crown attorneys Susan Bogle and Noel Sinclair told the News after the proceedings adjourned for the day that aside from residential schools, the case is likely the worst case of child sexual abuse ever seen in the Yukon.
The court heard disturbing details of the man’s crimes as Bogle read out the 95-paragraph-long statement of agreed facts following the man’s guilty pleas.
Over a period of five years, the man, who lived in the Yukon with his family from 1994 until moving to British Columbia in 2013, produced hundreds of sexually explicit photos and videos of his victims. Some of the images are of his victims’ breasts and genital areas, while others show the man sexually abusing the victims. The man also secretly recorded videos of some of the girls while they were showering, changing or using the washroom.
The man abused the girls while they were at his house for sleepovers or on camping or overnight trips. The victims appear to be asleep in some images, while in others, they are awake and moving. In some of the images, the man’s daughter can be seen sleeping in the same bed the abuse was happening in.
His daughter was not among the victims.
The crimes didn’t come to light until 2015, when, after returning to the Yukon after a family trip to visit the man and his family in British Columbia, a then 10-year-old girl told a school counsellor about the man’s sexual misconduct, which the counsellor reported to the RCMP.
More victims came forward during the Whitehorse RCMP and Delta Police Service investigations, and the man was arrested in Delta, B.C., on Feb. 12, 2015. The man’s son spoke to police the next day, telling them the man had recently thrown out a number of computers and hard drives from the family’s home. He also said that about a year earlier, he’d become suspicious of his father and hacked into his computer, where he found a number of pornographic photos and videos featuring girls he recognized as his sister’s friends.
The son had transferred the files, some of them sorted into folders labelled with the victim’s first names, onto his own computer and ultimately provided the records to police. In total, police seized 58 videos and 644 photos.
During the investigation, some victims told police they had no memory or knowledge of the abuse. Seven of the girls remember taking pills or capsules from the man at bedtime which he had told them were “vitamins.”
Throughout the court proceedings, the man, who appeared via video call from a British Columbia jail, sat largely motionless, expressionless and silent unless spoken to by Justice Ronald Veale or his defence lawyer, Vincent Larochelle. Wearing a red t-shirt and glasses, he appeared to be staring at the ground or have his eyes closed as the Crown read the facts.
During the proceedings, the Crown also submitted an order requesting the man be assessed for dangerous offender and long-term offender statuses.
The man also confirmed that he’s applied for charges he’s facing in British Columbia and Ontario to be waived to the Yukon.
In a brief interview afterwards, Crown attorneys Bogle and Sinclair, both long-time lawyers in the Yukon, said the case was unprecedented in the territory when it came to the number of victims harmed by a single offender and the quantity of child pornography produced.
Both commended the victims for their bravery in participating in the police investigations.
“These guilty pleas are the result of courageous victims who came forward and the good work of the Delta Police and RCMP,” Sinclair said.
The man will be sentenced at a hearing scheduled for Jan. 29, 2018.
Contact Jackie Hong at firstname.lastname@example.org