British Columbia

Man identified following charges of luring, sex assault of B.C. teen

A man accused of luring and sexually assaulting a child last month in Burnaby, B.C., has a criminal history of assaulting teenaged girls, court documents show.

Sheldon James Lowney, 29, pleaded guilty to sexual interference in 2015

Victims were contacted on the social networking site Nexopia. (Jacy Schindel/CBC)

A man charged with luring and sexually assaulting a child last month in Burnaby, B.C., has a criminal history of assaulting teenaged girls, court documents show.

Sheldon James Lowney, 29, was most recently accused of befriending a girl online, arranging to meet her and attacking her on May 2. 

He was charged on May 14 with sexual assault with a weapon, sexual interference, luring a child, possession of a restricted weapon and using a firearm while committing or trying to commit sexual assault.

The teenager and her mother reported the alleged attack to RCMP last month.

The girl's age was not released, but the charge of sexual interference involves touching a person under the age of 16.

RCMP declined to release Lowney's name when they announced the charges on Tuesday, but Crown prosecutors and court documents confirmed his identity.

Lowney was previously convicted of a crime that bears a similar theme to the allegations raised last month.

Previous offences detailed in court

Lowney pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual interference after assaulting two 15-year-old girls in 2012. He met at least one of the teenagers online.

A sentencing ruling said Lowney befriended the first girl, referred to as A.K., on Nexopia in May 2012. After chatting on the site and texting back and forth for "a period of time," they got together in person.

Lowney, then 21, recorded A.K. engaging in a sex act at his apartment. The B.C. Supreme Court ruling said Lowney's then-girlfriend later found the footage, posted photos on Facebook and sent copies to A.K.'s family.

The teenager's mother then reported the incident to police.

When police searched Lowney's apartment during the subsequent investigation, the ruling said, officers found sexual videos Lowney had taken of a second 15-year-old girl without her knowledge in February 2012. 

Lowney, who grew up in Mission, B.C., was sentenced to just over 19 months in jail as well as two years' probation on July 2, 2015.

Crown asked for Lowney's probation to include a condition to limit contact with minors, but the judge declined, saying he did not think Lowney was a risk to re-offend.

"I am not satisfied that Mr. Lowney engaged in predatory conduct and I am of the view that he will likely not re-offend," Justice Brian Joyce wrote in his ruling.

"I do not see the need for these restrictions."

Lowney remains in custody on the latest charges. He is due to appear in Vancouver Provincial Court on June 25.

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