Edmonton judge sentences man to 7 years for sex offences against boys
Note: Disturbing and graphic details
A 34-year-old man who admitted to sexual offences against five boys has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Justin Coulombe entered guilty pleas earlier this month on criminal charges related to five victims, including two counts of invitation to sexual touching, two counts of sexual interference and three child pornography charges.
On Thursday in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench, Coulombe received a seven-year prison sentence.
"These are very, very disturbing allegations," Justice Paul Belzil told court, referring to a four-page agreed statement of facts.
Previous media stories indicated Coulombe posed as a Catholic clergyman, but that was not how he lured his targets.
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According to the agreed statement of facts, Coulombe met his first victim, identified as T.F., in the summer of 2008 when the boy was 12 years old.
T.F. met Coulombe at a store in an Edmonton mall that catered to fans of role-playing board games.
Coulombe offered T.F. "advantages in the games they were playing" if the boy would show him his penis, according to the agreed statement of facts. The pair went to a vacant store in the mall where T.F. exposed himself.
Coulombe met his second victim the same way. Sometime between 2012 and 2013, 12-year-old E.P. showed Coulombe his penis on two occasions. Another time, Coulombe directed E.P. to show his penis under a gaming table and the boy agreed.
During that same time period, Coulombe met and exploited a third 12-year-old boy. Sometimes C.P. went to Coulombe's home to play games. Coulombe admitted that he twice pulled down the boy's pants and stroked the boy's penis.
"C.P. wanted to leave, but being a young child he did not know what to do," the court document states.
Coulombe met a 16-year-old boy at the end of 2016. The boy was a friend of one of his other victims.
L.P. visited Coulombe's house several times to play video games. The teenager needed a new cell phone. Coulombe bought one for him, but then made L.P. feel indebted. He manipulated L.P. into sending him explicit pictures and videos.
Police later found pictures and videos on Coulombe's electronic devices. They qualified as child pornography, according to the agreed statement of facts.
Mother says son has PTSD
Coulombe's fifth victim was 12 when he began to communicate with the older man on Facebook. Their involvement began in 2015 and lasted until 2017. A.P. sent Coulombe 11 intimate pictures. According to the agreed statement of facts, Coulombe performed oral sex on the boy three times and once simulated anal intercourse.
A.P.'s mother submitted a victim impact statement to the court.
She wrote that her son "has trouble with nightmares, is constantly very secretive, lies, steals, does drugs and is very moody ... more than he ever was. His relationships with his family [are] very turbulent."
She said a psychiatrist has diagnosed her son with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The mother also said she feels guilty for not protecting her son.
"My son's childhood was taken from him and I don't know if he will ever be the same," she wrote.
Coulombe admitted that between 2011 and 2017 he accumulated a large collection of child pornography and shared his photos and videos with others through internet chat rooms.
The court document reveals police found 25,677 child pornography images on his six electronic devices. Many were duplicated and stored in different locations on hard drives. The total number of distinct images was 8,490.
Police also found 4,219 videos of recorded child sexual exploitation. Accounting for duplication, there were 2,948 distinct videos.
Joint sentencing submission
Crown prosecutor Craig Krieger and defence lawyer Dushan Coulson jointly recommended a seven-year prison sentence to the judge.
Belzil agreed to the proposed sentence, noting it was significant that Coulombe's victims had been spared from the trauma of testifying. But he worried about the long-term psychological impact Coulombe's abuse will have on his victims.
"I only hope that all of these complainants, over time, will be able to move on with the appropriate assistance and move on to lead healthy lives in the future," Belzil said.
Coulombe will be placed on the sex offender registry for life and has a lifetime ban on using the internet and being around anyone under the age of 16.
Coulombe was offered the chance to say something to the judge, but declined.
He has been in custody since July 2017 and will get enhanced credit for time served, leaving just over five years remaining on the seven-year sentence.