Long-term offender status sought for Eckville sexual predator

Offender pleaded guilty to more than two dozen crimes against children as young as two years old

Crown prosecutors will seek to have an Eckville sexual predator who targeted numerous young children sentenced as a long-term offender.

Alberta’s deputy attorney general has approved the application by a Crown prosecutor to seek long-term offender status for the 36-year-old man.

The man, whose identity is covered by a court-ordered publication ban to protect his victims, previously pleaded guilty to more than two dozen sexual exploitation-related charges.

Over nearly a decade, the man took hundreds of photos and videos of children, known to him through acquaintances and other close connections. The man’s victims ranged in age from two to 10 years old.

He recorded himself sexually assaulting or molesting children many times, sharing some of the images on online child pornography sites.

The offender, who remains in custody, returns to court on May 11, when a new defence lawyer is expected to be confirmed.

Robin Snider, who previously represented the offender, has since been appointed a Red Deer provincial court judge.

Ten days have been set aside in October for the hearing.

The deputy attorney general’s decision followed a psychological assessment of the perpetrator.

Under Canadian law, the purpose of the long-term offender order is to “protect society from the threat that the offender currently poses — and to do so without resort to the blunt instrument of indeterminate detention.”

A judge sentencing someone as a long-term offender must be convinced that the crimes warrant a sentence of at least two years, that there is a substantial risk of re-offending and there is a “reasonable possibility of eventual control of the risk in the community.”

If convicted as a long-term offender, a judge must impose at least a two-year sentence and order up to 10 years of community supervision.



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