Cornwall sex-video creeper going to prison

The front entrance to the Cornwall courthouse at 29 Second Street West. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

WARNING: This story contains explicit details of sexual assault and may be disturbing for some readers. Discretion is advised.

CORNWALL – A Cornwall man, who preyed on his teenage step-daughter and her friend while they were sleeping, will be spending three-and-a-half years behind bars.

Due to a court-ordered publication ban, we are not ability to identify him. He was sentenced in a Cornwall court this morning (Wednesday).

The man had earlier pleaded guilty to six charges – two counts each of voyeurism, sexual exploitation and making child pornography.

The perpetrator was arrested by city police in July 2017 after his girlfriend at the time was suspicious of his behaviour and his use of an old cell phone.

It turns out, the cell phone was loaded with 15 sexually-charged home videos of varying lengths, from a few seconds to a few of minutes.

The videos had been shot between 2013 and 2015 when the step-daughter was 14-17 years old and the friend was 17 years old. The videos were shot in the middle of the night while the victims were sleeping in the step-daughter’s bedroom.

Judge Diane Lahaie said the 51-year-old’s actions had a “definitely progression” that started with filming the step-daughter’s vaginal and anal areas while she was wearing clothes to videos of 6-9 minutes where the man was touching their vaginal areas, masturbating over the head of one of the girls while they slept and placing his penis on one of the girl’s mouths.

The girls had no knowledge of the events or the videos.

“Your behaviour become much more brazen as time went on,” Judge Lahaie said.

She said the man’s “bizarre and unlikely motive” was illogical – that he had recorded and violated the girls to “teach them a lesson” that boys could take advantage of them.

The judge also noted the offender had been victim-blaming to justify his actions and that he viewed his step-daughter as a “surrogate romantic partner.”

Court also heard the offender came from a broken home and was subjected to physical and sexual abuse as a child. While he describes his mental health as “unstable,” the judge noted he did not seek counseling.

The sentence leans more toward the Crown’s submission, asking for 3-4 years in prison. The defence had been asking for 2-2.5 years.

Judge Lahaie said a sentence that “exceeds four years” would have been “more suitable” but she had to reduce the sentence and put significant weight on the man’s early guilty plea, which has “spared the victims from testifying” at a trial and having their accounts challenged under cross examination.

A doctor’s assessment shows the man is at a low risk to re-offend. He is also a first time offender.

In addition to his three-and-a-half year prison sentence, he will be on the national sex offender registry for life. He will also be under a so-called parks order – not able to go places where children under 16 frequent – for 20 years. The man also has to pay $1,200 in victim fine surcharges.