Four months in jail for owning child porn: judge

John Cafferata will spend four and a half months in jail for possessing child pornography.

John Cafferata will spend four and a half months in jail for possessing child pornography.

The 56-year-old former teaching assistant was handed a relatively light sentence because of his outstanding work with children at Teslin School and his remorse for having downloaded the images and videos. The RCMP found the child pornography when police raided his house last February in a nation-wide sting, said Judge Michael Cozens on Wednesday.

When police searched his computer, Cafferata had over 200 files of children posing sexually and performing sexual acts.

Most of them were downloaded from the internet on one day in January 2007—which Cafferata claimed he did while heavily intoxicated—but others dated as far back as 2000.

“Child pornography increases the likelihood of child abuse,” said Cozens.

“The harm caused by this is irreversible in its impact on children,” he said.

Cafferata vowed he never intended or thought of sexually abusing a child.

Cozens made it clear during his sentencing order that there is little difference.

If there is no market for child pornography, then there’s no reason to produce media that involves the sexual abuse of the world’s most vulnerable, he said.

Cafferata is believed to be at a low risk of reoffending, according to a pre-trial evaluation.

That, and Cafferata’s spotless criminal record, warranted a sentence that was on the lower end of a scale between a minimum 45 days in jail and five years.

Six weeks were removed from Cafferata’s sentence – which was originally decided at six months—because he already spent that much time in custody.

Cafferata’s sentence was determined by the need to denounce his actions, and to deter them from happening again, said Cozens.

Upon release from prison, Cafferata will spend two years on probation. He will also have to face a council of Teslin community members who will reintegrate him into society.

Cafferata sat virtually motionless during the proceedings, leaning back in his chair wearing a black and red sweater.

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com