Large child porn collection leads to year in jail


A local man received a 12-month jail sentence after police found an extensive collection of child pornography on his computer.

Barry Earl Jefferson had previously pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography following his arrest on March 26. Law enforcement became aware of the 34-year-old's collection after beginning a general investigation into activity on a peer-to-peer, file-sharing network.

In Estevan provincial court on Monday, Crown prosecutor Loreley Berra outlined the proposed sentence for the Crown, calling for a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six months for the possession charge and 12 months for the charge of distributing the material. While she requested the sentences be served consecutively, resulting in 18 months of jail, Jefferson's counsel David Hickie suggested the sentences be served at the same time as the charges are connected with one another.

Presiding Judge James Benison sided with the defence, noting that sentences should be served concurrently if the matters before the court are explicitly linked. As many of the images in Jefferson's possession were also images he was sharing via the peer-to-peer service, Benison considered the charges to stem from the same place.

During the investigation into Jefferson's activity last January, authorities downloaded 90 complete files directly from Jefferson and the material was deemed child pornography.

Berra noted the majority of the images depicted pre-pubescent girls between the ages of six and 12 but some depicted girls as young as three.

The investigation found 1,583 images on Jefferson's computer as well as a video file. Berra noted many of the images were watermarked from LS Magazine, which features pornographic material prominently involving children. She added that many of the images were of children who have since been identified.

"Many of these images were also checked in the international child pornography database, and about half the collection is actually of what is called an identified victim," Berra told the court. "That means over the course of an investigation, through international means, the child has been identified and we know who that child is."

She noted one child was depicted in more than 150 different images.

Berra said Jefferson's pre-sentence report described him referring to a "rush" he received by downloading illegal material.

"They are essentially depicting the most vulnerable of our society, those people who need protection. These images are being created for people who are downloading and requesting them," said Berra.

Hickie noted that Jefferson admits to having an addiction to pornography for many years and he is currently very active in addiction services and receives counselling regularly through the Sun Country Health Region and his pastor.

He said that considering the "positive" steps his client has taken since his arrest, allowing Jefferson to serve his sentences concurrently would be appropriate.

Because there is no programming for sexual offenders in the provincial correctional system, Jefferson will also be subject to a lengthy probationary period of three years following his release. In that time, he is expected to receive assessments and further counselling for any issues he may have.

Jefferson will also be registered as a sex offender in the RCMP Sex Offender Registry, and must submit a DNA sample. He also will be prohibited from being in contact with anyone under 16 years of age attend a place where children generally spend time like parks, schools and pools without supervision.

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