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Sentence in child porn case

A former Penticton resident was sentenced on child pornography charges in a Penticton courtroom on Tuesday.

Mark Henry Snowden will serve a year for distribution, with credit for 74 days time served, and 120 days concurrently on the possession charge.

He was also given three years probation and a 10-year 161 order. Section 161 of the criminal code permits the court to make an order prohibiting the offender's from certain activities that may put them in contact with a person under age 16.

Judge Gregory Koturbash told the court he didn't intend to go into all of the facts of the case in handing down his decision, but said Snowden had 124 images and 40 videos constituting child pornography in his possession.

Many of the images and videos were very sexually explicit, including girls age 6 to 12 exposing their vaginas and bestiality.

Snowden also shared 74 images with others, engaged in chats, and images were found on a camera of kids at the beach.

Koturbash described these offenses of child pornography as being 'particularly insidious'.

In terms of mitigating factors, he said, Snowden does not have a criminal record and there was a lack of financial motive.

Regarding aggravating factors, there was a lack of insight into his offending behavior, the content of the images is very disturbing and in the pre-sentence report, Snowden minimized his activities to dispell culpability.

Among the conditions of his probation order are to have no contact or communication or be alone with any person under age 16, except with the written consent of his probation officer.

He shall furthermore not access the Internet anywhere, except at his place of employment and only for employment purposes.

Koturbash lastly told Snowden, who appeared by video from Kamloops Regional Correctional Center, that he sincerely hopes he takes advantage of the treatment offered to him because that is the best protection that could be offered to the public.

Snowden sat quietly during the judge's decision, only speaking up at one point, when he told the judge he didn't understand why texting would not be allowed.

At Snowden's trial last summer, an expert witness testified that an email of interest concerning the pornography was originally passed along from a U.S. police department and a search warrant then executed in Penticton in February of 2012.

The witness then received the man's computer and was able to examine it for evidence of child pornography. Some of the websites visited featured young nude girls and young teen models.

Snowden was set to be sentenced in February, but was taken into custody when another court matter took precedence.

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