A man convicted of raping a child and producing child porn lost his sentencing appeal in Kelowna court.
According to a Nov. 19 judgment from the B.C. Court of Appeals, the man pleaded guilty to sexual interference of a child under 16 and making child pornography in February 2015. In December 2016, he was sentenced to seven years in prison, serving consecutive sentences of five years for sexual interference and two for making child pornography.
The man is only identified as S.C.W. in the documents, due to a publication ban that protects any information that could potentially identify the victims.
The man was 43 years old at the time of the 2012 arrest in which he was caught by police in the act of sexually violating a 12-year-old.
On S.C.W.’s laptop and camera, police found 129 images and eight videos of the child which met the definition of child pornography.
“The videos must be experienced to fully understand the full measure of the crushing depravity of the acts,” said Justice Mark Takahashi the 2016 sentencing. “They were witness to the psychological dismemberment and decapitation of the sexual being of a pre-adolescent child.
“Breathless in their brutality, there are no words to describe the despair one felt for the child or the loathing for [the appellant], except a deep and abiding sadness.”
At the time of arrest, the abuse had been taking place for more than a year and S.C.W. had been in a position of trust with the child for more than five years.
S.C.W. sought the appeal on grounds that he believed the sentencing judge erred in principle in rejecting a psychological risk assessment that concluded he posed a low risk of re-offending and considering his victim’s young age as an aggravating factor.
In the judgment, the Court of Appeals found that the judge was under no obligation to accept or give weight to the assessment.
The court also found that the victim’s age was relevant to assessing the vulnerability of the victim and the age difference between the victim and S.C.W. was relevant to assessing his culpability.
“The egregiousness of the sexual offence against a child increases as the age of the child decreases,” said Justice Richard Goepel in his dismissal of the appeal. “Taking into account the age of the victim is an appropriate consideration of the specific facts of the individual offence.”
S.C.W. has remained in custody since his sentencing in 2016.