Child porn sentence, constitutional challenge further delayed

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Sentencing for a Cornwall man convicted of having child pornography has been further delayed due to personal matters affecting his lawyer.

Randy Crowder, 59, is being sentenced after pleading guilty last year to one count of possession of child pornography.

Crowder was arrested in June 2019 after police searched his home based on information from the Cornwall Police Service Internet Child Exploitation Unit. Court has heard officers recovered one picture and one video. The material depicted girls between 7 and 15 years old.

During a court appearance yesterday (Sept. 8), defence lawyer Bill Wade said he couldn’t proceed because he had “a couple of setbacks.” He wouldn’t elaborate on the record about the “personal matters.”

Wade says his client is “very understanding” of the situation and waives his right to 11(b) under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on being tried within a reasonable time.

While he appreciates Wade waiving the right to a speedy trial, Crown attorney Matthew Collins says this is about a case that is “dragging on” after a guilty plea on Jan. 9, 2020 and from the public’s perspective “this needs to be dealt with and ended.”

“Looking realistically, it’s probably going to be close to 2022 by the time this is finalized. On the last occasion, back in July, we were in the same boat we are in today,” Collins explained.

Judge Franco Giamberardino said the Crown’s arguments are “certainly fair and appropriate” and there’s also a pre-sentence report (PSR) that is “starting to become stale given how old it is. Having said that, this matter must come to a conclusion soon.” Giamberardino added that he was “sensitive” to Wade’s personal circumstances.

Giamberardino stressed that he will hear the constitutional challenge arguments with or without materials in order to move the case forward. “On the next date, Mr. Wade, it’s with the materials or without, in which case I will simply hear traditional arguments on what’s being suggested for penalty in this matter.”

The case will be back in court in two weeks to “set up timelines” for the constitutional challenge and the sentencing arguments.

“I’m at the back end of factum (written arguments) but I didn’t want to mess it up because Randy does deserve a proper hearing on this. As I indicated, these things (personal matters) came out of left field and smacked me right upside the head and I had to deal with them,” Wade said.

He added the constitutional issue is “a very important issue and not to be done in a half-baked manner. I want to make sure that everything’s right for my client because he does deserve the hearing.”

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