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Penticton  

2+ yrs sought for child porn

A Penticton man who pled guilty to possessing over 68,000 images and over 1,600 videos depicting child pornography appeared in Penticton court Wednesday. 

Gordan Smith, 49, was arrested in May 2018, and has been out on bail for much of the time since. He pled guilty to possession of child pornography in November 2018, acknowledging the possession spanned over two years.

At a sentencing hearing Wednesday, court heard that Smith, a divorced father of two young children now aged six and nine, had a small pantry area off his kitchen converted into a computer room. 

Police found numerous electronic devices and hard drives on his premises when they visited his residence with a search warrant in May 2018. Smith had been tracked down after a U.S. child pornography-tracking authority tracked his activity and passed the information on to local RCMP. 

"Mr. Smith was noted to be cooperative and provided passwords for his phone and iPhone," Crown prosecutor Ann Lerchs told the court Wednesday.

The contents of the devices seized included graphic photos and videos of young children under the age of 10, some naked and some actively being sexually assaulted. Numerous videos of Smith masturbating onto naked photos of young female children were also found. 

Lerchs asked the court for a sentence of 24 to 30 months in jail, with additional probation afterward for several years limiting Smith's access to public areas near children and the internet. 

She said that while he pled guilty, he seems not to own up to the magnitude of his crime. 

"He does not appear to be aware that these are real victims," she said, citing psychological reports that describe Smith saying "the children looked content" in the photos, and that he claimed the more violent photos and videos did not arouse him.

"There is no grey area when it comes to child pornography," Lerchs said. 

Smith's defence lawyer James Pennington said his client's actions of downloading child pornography without any effort to hide or encrypt his activity were a "cry for help" and that being caught was what he wanted.

"We've all heard of suicide by cop," he said. 

Pennington spoke to Smith's history of mental health issues and a desire to get better, claiming Smith had previously been in counselling but had to stop due to running out of money. 

He asked for a six to nine months sentence at maximum, preferably as a suspended sentence, citing Smith's cooperation with authorities and claiming the arrest was "a reality check" for his client. 

Judge Gregory Koturbash responded to seeing these charges on his docket a "sad day for Penticton." He asked Smith whether he had anything to say. 

"I want to look at this as a positive because if this didn't happen I wouldn't be alive today," Smith said. "I regret my actions ... all I can expect is for something good to come of this."

Judge Koturbash will make his sentencing decision on a date yet to be determined in early August. 



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