A popular children's magician and former educational assistant who recorded pornographic images of unsuspecting children has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Forty-year-old Daniel Kamenicky pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count each of making and possessing child pornography.
"The accused's offending behaviour has shaken to the core the parents of the children victimized by the accused and caused their children's innocence to be taken from them," Judge Sid Lerner said Thursday.
"What one [parent] called a sacred trust has been breached, leaving both parents and children uncertain and in fear."
Kamenicky was arrested in August 2016 after dozens of photos and videos he had taken of young children were inadvertently uploaded to the photo sharing site Flickr.
Kamenicky surreptitiously recorded dozens of girls between the ages of eight and 10 while working as an educational assistant and while performing magic shows under the name Dan the Magic Man. Court heard Kamenicky would distract the girls and then take cellphone pictures or videos from underneath their dresses.
Kamenicky had been employed as an educational assistant at Windsor School, a kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Elm Park, until he was arrested.
Yahoo, which owns Flickr, notified the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the U.S.. Using Kamenicky's IP address, the centre tracked down his location and notified the Winnipeg Police Service's child exploitation unit.
Police executed a search warrant at Kamenicky's Winnipeg home and seized his cellphones and other electronic devices.
Kamenicky was found to be in possession of 50 pornographic videos involving children — 30 of which he recorded himself — and 53 pornographic images of children, 45 of which he took himself.
Kamenicky stared at the floor as Lerner detailed the contents of videos and pictures he downloaded depicting adults sexually assaulting children.
"Each image and video possessed by the accused constitutes complicity in and affirmation of the degradation and devastation of the children depicted in this material," Lerner said.
'The only reasonable inference on the facts of this case is that the accused has been, for some time, obsessed with viewing young children in deviantly sexual contexts' - Judge Sid Lerner
A psychiatrist who examined Kamenicky concluded he is not a pedophile and is a low risk to reoffend sexually against children.
According to a pre-sentence report prepared for court, Kamenicky downplayed the seriousness of his actions, calling them merely "inappropriate."
Lerner said the facts of the case, including evidence of Internet searches Kamenicky made for child pornography, suggests he remains a risk to the community.
"The only reasonable inference on the facts of this case is that the accused has been, for some time, obsessed with viewing young children in deviantly sexual contexts, and that at least of late, this includes horrific acts of sexual abuse and degradation," Lerner said.
Kamenicky's lawyer, Dan Manning, said the 40-year-old "deeply regrets what he's done."
Manning also said Kamenicky "wants to emphasize that no child was ever touched in any way and he's got a long road to deal with some of the issue. But we're hoping at the end of the process he'll deal with society."
Lerner credited Kamenicky for time served, reducing his remaining sentence to 40 months. Lerner ordered that his name be listed on the national sex offender registry for the rest of his life and that he have no unsupervised contact with children 16 years of age or younger.