British Columbia

'I hope this hurts you': B.C. man jailed for repeated sexual extortion of girls and women

Seamus Martin Weeks was just 18 years old when he contacted his victims, demanding nude photos and explicit videos, and threatening to post real or photoshopped images online if they didn't comply.

Seamus Weeks pleaded guilty to 10 counts, including possession of child porn and criminal harassment

Seamus Weeks was originally charged with 29 criminal counts. (Island Outfitters)

A young man who sexually extorted, harassed and threatened women and girls across B.C. and in the States has been sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Seamus Martin Weeks was just 18 years old and attending university in Kamloops when he contacted 15 female targets, demanding nude photos and explicit videos and threatening to post real or photoshopped images online if they didn't comply.

His victims were as young as 12 years old, according to a sentencing decision from B.C. provincial court.

Last week, Judge Carmen Rogers sentenced Weeks to a year and a half behind bars, to be followed by three years of probation.

She rejected the defence's arguments for a short, intermittent jail term followed by house arrest, writing "I ... find that a conditional sentence would not be proportionate to the moral responsibility of Mr. Weeks for these grave offences."

But Rogers said she also needed to impose "the least restrictive sentence appropriate and must not lose sight of Mr. Weeks' young age and future prospects."

Weeks was arrested by Central Saanich Police in June 2016, and charged with 29 criminal counts.

He later pleaded guilty to 10 of those charges, including three counts of extortion, one count of luring, one count of possession of child pornography, one count of invitation to sexual touching, three counts of criminal harassment and one count of threatening.

'I can't take it anymore'

Weeks's crimes began in November 2015 with a 14-year-old girl who was living in the U.S.

He was a stranger when he reached out to her through social media and began demanding nude photographs, later threatening to post them online if she didn't send him videos of herself performing painful sex acts, according to the sentencing decision.

When she resisted, he replied, "I hope this hurts you. Mabey itl teach you to talk back or not give me wht I want." He also threatened to travel to her home and sexually assault her.

She begged Weeks to leave her alone, telling him, "I can't take it anymore" and saying she felt like killing herself.

After the girl contacted police and an investigation began, Weeks contacted another 13 young women and girls, including one who was just 12 years old, according to the sentencing decision.

The content of his correspondence with each of those victims is disturbing.

Weeks threatened to share photoshopped images of his victims online. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Weeks threatened to rape a 19-year-old if she didn't continue sending him nude images. He warned other victims that he'd photoshop their faces onto nude images on social media if they didn't comply.

And after Weeks repeatedly called a 14-year-old, threatening to show her breasts to everyone at her high school, she told Weeks she was feeling suicidal. He told her she should do what he wanted to "make her more willing to leave" the Earth.

She later called police, as did several other victims.

Weeks wrote letters of apology

The victims and their parents said Week's actions left them feeling anxious, helpless and frightened and led to troubles in school and holding down jobs.

Weeks, who is now 21, had no previous criminal record and has been out on bail since his arrest more than two years ago. He wrote two letters of apology to the court and expressed his remorse during a sentencing hearing, according to the court decision.

As part of his sentence, Weeks will have to register as a sex offender and submit a DNA sample. He'll also be banned from possessing any firearms for 10 years and prohibited from contacting any of his victims while he's in jail or on parole.

About the Author

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay is a B.C. journalist with a focus on the courts, health, science and social justice issues. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.

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