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Summerland lifeguard jailed 6 years for child porn, sex abuse

Creepy lifeguard gets 6 years

Warning: The contents of this story may be disturbing to some readers.

A former lifeguard at the Summerland Aquatic Centre who used a spy camera in the change room to record “an entire generation” of underage boys was sentenced to six years in prison Monday. 

Edward Casavant, 55, was also sentenced for sexually abusing an eight-year-old boy with autism who was in his care between 2011 and 2014 — abuse that he also recorded. 

“It is difficult to accurately express the horror or depravity of these offences without viewing the videos,” Judge Monica McParland said in Penticton court.

McParland was bound somewhat by a joint submission, or plea deal, presented by Crown and defence. That joint submission was initially for five years, but was bumped up to six on Monday after the judge raised concerns. 

In Canada, judges must respect the deals reached by Crown and defence unless the sentence “would be viewed by reasonable and informed persons as a breakdown in the proper functioning of the justice system.”

McParland noted that the Crown wanted, “at all costs,” to avoid having the sexual abuse victim and his mother testify in open court — something the guilty plea allowed. The Crown also admitted to frailties in its case, particularly with how the initial investigation into Casavant began.

He was caught after he purchased a computer from the Penticton Staples in November 2018. Casavant, who was also known locally as “Eddie Spaghetti,” utilized a service offered by the store to transfer all of the data from his old computer to his new one.

While a Staples employee was monitoring the transfer process, the employee spotted a file folder titled “Fun with Boys” that included thumbnails of what appeared to be child pornography. The police were called, who came and seized the devices. 

Defence counsel Don Skogstad suggested Staples had broken a verbal contract to not look at his client’s data, and a defence could have been mounted that argued the RCMP improperly took advantage of that — which if successful would have jeopardized the entire case against Casavant. 

In the days after his computer was seized, Casavant admitted to a friend that he had sexually abused a boy with autism who he provided overnight respite care for between 2011 and 2014. 

RCMP had previously investigated an allegation of sexual abuse from the boy’s mother involving Casavant in 2014, but the eight-year-old boy refused to admit anything happened when interviewed by police. 

Photos and videos of the abuse were then found on Casavant’s computer when it was seized at Staples in 2018. At that point, the RCMP re-interviewed the boy, then 12, who confirmed the abuse occurred.

“It is quite simply, difficult to imagine any more vulnerable a victim,” McParland said Monday, noting the victim became violent in the years after the sexual exploitation and refused to take a bath, where the abuse occurred, for over a year.

Casavant also admitted that he had used a “spy camera” attached to his clipboard to record underage boys in the locker room of the Summerland Aquatic Centre for 10 to 15 years.

“Because the voyeurism went on for some 10-15 years, it's very likely an entire generation of children was potentially exposed to this activity,” Judge McParland said Monday.

Casavant had been employed at the aquatic centre since 1986, quitting once the police investigation opened in 2018.

In all, 275 unique downloaded child porn videos involving infants up to young boys aged 12 years old were found on Casavant’s computers. Thirty voyeurism videos of nude boys in the change room, dating back as far as 2008, were also found in addition to the videos Casavant made of the abuse of the young boy with autism. 

“He has clearly and unequivocally been diagnosed as a pedophile,” McParland said Monday, noting he was a higher-than-average risk of reoffending.

At the end of her hour-long decision, McParland concluded she would respect the plea bargain reached by Crown and defence.

With credit for time already served, Casavant has another five years left on his sentence. He will also be placed on the sex offender registry for life and be banned from parks, beaches and other places frequented by kids for a decade.

He will, however, get to continue to collect his municipal pension.



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