Stuart Peter Hunt, of Red Deer, was charged with child sexual exploitation offences. (Contributed)

Red Deer child sex offender sentenced

A Red Deer man accused of numerous child sexual exploitation offences will spend more than a decade behind bars.

Stuart Peter Hunt was in Red Deer provincial court Monday for sentencing, which was about 16 and half years. Judge Jim Glass reduced that number to about 12 years due to the totality principle, less time served. This means Hunt will spend around 11 years behind bars.

“Sentence left to be served 4,056 days,” said Glass on Monday.

Hunt was facing more than a dozen charges stemming from investigations by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams’ child exploitation unit. It is believed some of the offences may date back 20 years.

The investigation was prompted when the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre was notified about a social media user allegedly uploading child pornography. Hunt was arrested on Jan. 17.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of sexual interference, two counts of invitation to sexual touching and sexual assault related to incidents involving sexually touching his young victim’s genitals in incidents dating back to the late 1990s. He also pleaded guilty to breaching a court order after sending an apology letter to a victim’s family.

Glass noted “the size of the Mr. Hunt’s collection of child pornography, the nature of the collection, specifically the videos depicting severe sexual violence against toddlers, and children under 12.

“He had ample opportunity to seek professional help for deviant and criminal behaviour,” Glass said.

The judge quoted a psychiatric assessment during sentencing.

“He clearly states his beliefs that children enjoy sexual contact at an early age,” Glass read from the assessment in court.

When investigators went through Hunt’s cellphone, they found 2,164 child pornography images and 16 videos. About 3,800 child porn images and 220 videos were found on a pair of computers and a hard drive.

Hunt was caught after three different internet-based applications reported illegal uploads of child pornography to the cyber tipline of the United States Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It passed on information to the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams’ child exploitation investigators.

Hunt was identified and arrested in January and charged with child porn offences. After investigators interviewed victims, he was re-arrested in February and charged with sexual exploitation offences.

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