The defence and Crown agreed upon a jail term for a sexual interference matter during Estevan provincial court on Monday.
Estevan resident Brian Dodd entered guilty pleas to two counts of sexual interference, as well as making child pornography and possessing a firearm contrary to an order. A count of possessing child pornography and a breach of release conditions were both stayed by the Crown.
Submissions by both the Crown and Dodd’s Legal Aid counsel, Greg Wilson, to presiding Judge Karl Bazin suggested Dodd serve 15 months in jail, followed by three years of probation. Bazin accepted the joint submission after reviewing victim impact statements.
Crown prosecutor Mitch Crumley noted that the offences in question spring from an incident on March 3 when two young girls, aged eight and five, were at Dodd's residence. He went downstairs to where the girls were and found them naked.
Dodd first had the girls pose in a particular way and took photographs of them, he then proceeded to touch the girls inappropriately with his fingers and orally. He then uploaded the photos to his computer.
Crumley said, “With respect to the production of the child pornography, that would be the capturing of the images of those little girls, Parliament has indicated that there is a sentence of one year minimum and 10 years maximum.”
In regards to the charge of possessing a firearm contrary to an order, Dodd had been nearing the end of a 10-year firearms prohibition that hadn’t yet expired and was in possession of a family member’s weapons. They were discovered during the police investigation into the other charges.
Wilson noted Dodd has been in custody for about seven weeks, but remand time will not count toward his 15-month sentence.
Wilson told the court, “What happened is, he goes downstairs, discovers the two of them naked and makes a really stupid decision. This is something that is completely out of character. It’s one of those things where he just made a really stupid decision on the spot, and he’s going to pay for it.”
He said he isn’t excusing the conduct of his client but asked Bazin to recognize that it was an isolated incident. He noted Dodd felt sick about the incident immediately following it and confessed to police very early into them questioning him.
Wilson added that Dodd is interested in seeking counselling but hadn’t yet done so on his lawyer’s advice. While the court can’t dictate where Dodd serves his sentence, the defence also made a request that the court recommend he serve his time at a correctional facility in Alberta specifically for sex offenders.
Bazin addressed Dodd while passing sentence, saying, “Your acts are condemned by this court and society. (Because of your acts that are) reprehensible you’ve damaged two young children. Because of your depraved acts, you’ve lost the trust of the victims and their families.”
As part of the three-year probation period that follows Dodd’s jail term, he is to have no contact with the victims or their families, he is not to attend any place where children gather, like playgrounds or swimming pools, and he is to participate in any treatment or personal psychiatric counselling that is suggested by his probation officer.
He must also provide a DNA sample and will be registered for his life to the Sex Offender Registry. He will also be under a further 10-year firearms prohibition.