Calgary

Suspect in sex assault of 5-year-old Calgary boy has history of possessing child pornography

A Calgary man charged in the sexual assault of a five-year-old boy over the weekend has previously served time in jail for possessing child pornography, court documents reveal.

Kenneth Hornby, 57, faces numerous criminal charges after allegedly assaulting child in back alley

Police released this image of a man wanted in connection with the sexual assault of a five-year-old boy in the 3000 block of Elbow Drive S.W. on Saturday. On Monday, they charged 57-year-old suspect Kenneth Hornby. (Calgary Police Service)

A Calgary man charged in the sexual assault of a five-year-old boy over the weekend has previously served time in jail for possessing child pornography, court documents obtained Tuesday reveal. 

The child was riding a bike in the 3000 block of Elbow Drive S.W. around 10 a.m. on Saturday when he came across a man who was looking through garbage bins, according to police.

The man and the child then had a brief conversation, police said, before the man assaulted the boy.

'Incredible support system'

The child, who was not physcially hurt, then ran home and told his parents, who immediately called police.

"The victim has got an incredible support system," Staff Sgt. Melanie Oncescu with the Calgary Police Service (CPS) child abuse unit, said at a media briefing Tuesday.

She said while she is unable to reveal any specifics about the case, such investigations are handled very methodically, partly because young children communicate differently.

Immediately after the incident, the boy was taken to the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre for treatment. 

Child pornography conviction

Kenneth Hornby, 57, was arrested on Sunday and charged with sexual assault, sexual interference with a child and invitation to sexual touching.

He served eight months in jail for possession of child pornography following charges in 2011.

Hornby has been back in court on several occasions since then, for breaching conditions of a recognizance and for failing to comply with probation.

Staff Sgt. Rob Davidson from the specialized offender unit — who oversees the CPS high risk offender program — said he cannot confirm whether Hornby was being monitored.

However, he said members of the team conduct risk assessments of offenders on a weekly basis. 

"As effective as we are, unfortunately, it is impossible to have a crystal ball," he said. "It's unfortunate that we aren't able to be everywhere at every time."

'Treatment and support'

Scharie Tavcer, who teaches criminal justice at Mount Royal University, says the incident highlights a systemic problem.

"Unfortunately it's not surprising because our communities lack the financial resources to invest in community treatment, mental health treatment, sex offender treatment, psychological services — you name it," she said.

"Not just probation supervision but treatment and support."

Hornby will be back in court on Wednesday.

The assault happened in the 3000 block of Elbow Drive S.W. on Saturday morning, police say. (Google Maps)

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