Hamilton

Man gets 7 years for making child porn, sexually abusing 7-year-old in Craigslist case

A Hamilton man has been sentenced to seven years for sexual interference and making child pornography, linked to a case the Crown called “too horrible for words” where a seven-year-old girl was advertised for abuse on Craigslist.

'Too horrible for words:' Case marks sentencing for last of five adults charged

A 38-year-old Hamilton man has been sentenced for his role in a sweeping sexual abuse case involving a seven-year-old girl. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

A Hamilton man has been sentenced to seven years for sexual interference and making child pornography, linked to a case the Crown called "too horrible for words" where a seven-year-old girl was advertised for abuse on Craigslist.

Justice Joe Fiorucci said the 38-year-old man, who cannot be named because of a publication ban put in place to protect the victim, helped make the young girl a "prop" in a "perverted show."

"It is at this point when the unimaginable intersects with reality," Fiorucci said in his decision.

With credit for time served, the man will serve an additional three years and four months in a penitentiary. The Crown was seeking an eight-year sentence, while the defence was seeking five-and-a-half years.

The man is the last of five adults who have been tried in a sweeping sexual abuse case that shocked Hamilton.

Court has heard the young girl was offered up for abuse online by her mother's then-boyfriend back in 2016.

I can only hope my niece is able to have a normal life.- Victim's aunt

Along with abusing the girl, the boyfriend also took thousands of illicit photos and videos of her over an 18-month period, court has heard. That man, who Fiorucci called "deviant and antisocial," is currently serving 13 years in prison.

Court has heard the man who was sentenced Tuesday was high and drunk when he went to the other man's house in April of 2016. He watched homemade child porn with him, looked on as the then-boyfriend sexually assaulted her, and finally abused the girl himself while his friend recorded it.

The man previously pleaded guilty to sexual interference, but denied knowing his friend was recording the assault. He was found guilty of making child pornography back in August.

Crown prosecutor Janet Booy called it a "horrible, despicable case."

"It's probably the worst I've ever seen," she said. "No sentence can ever bring back the innocence of the young victim."

These electronics were seized in connection with the case. (Hamilton Police Service)

The girl's aunt, who has attended court to stand witness for the family, said the girl is now getting professional help and trying to work through the trauma.  

"I can only hope my niece is able to have a normal life," she said. "It's crazy that grown adults could do this."

"Now that it's over, it's time to start healing."

As the man was led into court wearing a striped green and black shirt and glasses, the girl's aunt became visibly redder. She deeply exhaled as the horrific details of what happened to her niece were read aloud, before holding her head in her hands.

Court heard that the man who was sentenced Tuesday had a problem with drinking, and has also abused pot, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Psychological testing showed the man, who has three children himself, has "low intellectual functioning," the judge said.

Fiorucci said that despite the man's limitations, testing showed his judgment and decision making abilities to be in the average range.

The man was also sexually abused when he was a child, court heard, as well as physically and emotionally abused by his stepfather.

Court also heard the man has "expressed remorse that appears to be sincere" and shows "positive prospects for rehabilitation," but the judge said that deterrence and separation from society takes precedence over rehabilitation in a case like this.

"The wellbeing of our children must take precedence," Fiorucci said.

adam.carter@cbc.ca

About the Author

Adam Carter

Reporter, CBC Hamilton

Adam Carter is a Newfoundlander who now calls Hamilton home. He enjoys a good story and playing loud music in dank bars. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamCarterCBC or drop him an email at adam.carter@cbc.ca.