North Van man who paid for sex with teen in car fined $1,000

Fined after sex with teen

A 55-year-old North Vancouver man who paid to have sex with a 14-year-old girl in his Tesla has been handed a $1,000 fine and put on probation for a year by a provincial court judge.

Jonathan James Kirby was handed the fine after pleading guilty in North Vancouver provincial court to a charge of communicating for the purpose of obtaining a sexual service between Feb. 4 and March 30, 2021.

Although the girl was 14 at the time, “there’s no evidence to suggest Mr. Kirby actually knew her age,” Crown counsel Lara Sarbit told the judge.

Kirby could have seen, however, that the victim was very young and was selling sex out of desperation for money and he should have been more cautious, said Sarbit.

Sarbit described how the teen was hanging around an older group of friends at the time and had started taking cocaine.

One day the teen overdosed and was rushed to hospital.

Her family members went through her phone, hoping to discover where she was getting the money for drugs. They found a series of WhatsApp messages from a man asking about payment for sex, said Sarbit.

Kirby was eventually identified as the owner of the associated phone number.

After she entered a rehab treatment program, the teen eventually told police she met Kirby online through the website Sugar Daddy Meet, where people post profiles to meet others for sexual transactions for money, said Sarbit. Under the website rules, the teen had supposedly confirmed she was at least 18.

The teen told Kirby she was 18, said Sarbit, and sent him intimate photos and videos in exchange for about $200 over a period of time.

Eventually they agreed to meet in his Tesla at North Vancouver’s Bridgeman Park. The teen told police Kirby said he’d had the windows tinted in preparation for their encounter.

When she arrived at the park, the teen ditched her backpack in some bushes so Kirby wouldn’t get suspicious about her actual age, said Sarbit.

They then had a brief sexual encounter inside the Tesla, lasting under a minute. Kirby paid $200 for the sex.

Afterwards, they discussed meeting up again, said Sarbit, but the teen overdosed before that could happen.

Kirby was eventually arrested at his North Vancouver home, where his Tesla was parked in the driveway.

After going through rehab, the teen is off drugs and back in school, said Sarbit. “She more clearly understands how vulnerable and young she was.”

In a victim impact statement read by Sarbit, the girl wrote, “I was lost and people preyed on that.”

Defence lawyer Mark Slay said Kirby is a married father of two adult children with no criminal history. He knew nothing about the teen or her background and there was nothing about her appearance to suggest she was under 18, he said.

Kirby has had to tell his family about what happened, and has sought counselling to deal with abuse he himself suffered as a child, he said.

In addition to the probation and the fine, Judge Joanne Challenger ordered Kirby to pay $5,000 towards the victim’s counselling sessions. She also ordered him to have no contact with the teen and to complete 20 hours of community work service. He must also submit a DNA sample.

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