Canada: ‘Internet research’ defense negated by Crown in child porn case

edmontonsun.com – Canada – ‘Internet research’ defense negated by Crown in child porn case: “‘Internet research’ defense negated by Crown in child porn case

Judge rejects man’s claim he possessed child porn for research purposes
By Guelph Mercury, 12 October, 2008

GUELPH, Ont. — An Ontario man’s claim he surfed the Internet for child porn because he was concerned girls he knew might have been victims “defies common sense,” a judge said before sentencing him to six months in jail.

Justice Bruce Durno said he did not believe 51-year-old Kenneth Carter amassed a collection of disturbing images while conducting research.

Carter earlier pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, but during the preparation of a presentencing report told a probation officer he was looking at the online images because he was worried two girls he knew might have been victims.

This belief, he said, was based on his knowledge the girls had once attended a daycare centre implicated after the owner’s son was charged with possessing child porn.

Carter claimed he downloaded pictures and then used image-comparison software to determine whether the children in the images might be the girls he knew.

The Crown rejected this explanation and launched into a sentencing hearing to determine the man’s level of culpability.

Const. Bruce Hunter of the Guelph technical crimes section testified during the sentencing hearing that as far as he knows, the software described by Carter does not exist.

Hunter also said it would be “next to impossible” to locate images of particular children in the massive and growing world of online child pornography.

“What he said he was attempting to do gives new meaning to the phrase needle in a haystack,” Durno said Thursday before sending Carter to jail for six months.

Court heard police found almost 200 images of child porn on Carter’s computer after it was seized in August 2006, as well as approximately 300 child porn stories on electronic storage devices.

Carter admitted during the sentencing hearing he found the stories “titillating.”

Following the jail sentence, Carter will be on probation for 18 months.

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