Kitchener-Waterloo

Former HopeSpring director sentenced to 3 years for child porn offences

Gerard Seguin, the former director of HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre, has been sentenced to three years in prison for possessing child pornography, making child pornography and committing an offence to a minor.

Gerard Seguin's actions were 'particularly vile' and 'deeply disturbing,' justice said

Justice McKay said it was a Yahoo employee in the United States who first noticed pornographic activity connected to a user ID in 2015. (Shutterstock/Brian A Jackson)

Gerard Seguin, the former director of HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre, has been sentenced to three years in prison for possessing child pornography, making child pornography and committing an offence to a minor. 

Seguin was led into a Kitchener courtroom Thursday afternoon to receive his sentence. Throughout the hour-long hearing, he sat quietly in the prisoner's box with his head down, hands cuffed.

Justice Thomas McKay told him that what he did was "particularly vile" and that he was "far from certain" that Seguin understood the impact of his actions.

Seguin previously pleaded guilty to three of the eight charges of pornography against him. 

In a letter to the court, he told the court that he was deeply sorry for what he had done and thanked the officer who had arrested him, saying it was a necessary intervention into his life.

Content on computers 'deeply disturbing'

According to McKay, a Yahoo employee in the United States first noticed pornographic activity connected with a user ID on Sept. 8, 2015.

The activity was eventually reported to Waterloo regional police, but though the material identified did meet the definition of pornography, it could not be connected with an individual. 

Then, in July 2017, police received reports of an individual who was having pornographic conversations in a chat room, including conversations about abusing children. 

That tip led police to a house in Kitchener - where they seized computer equipment - and then to Seguin. 

McKay said written and photographic material found through the police investigation was "deeply disturbing."

Content demonstrates sadism, bestiality

He said Seguin boasted about drugging prostitutes and then abusing their children, had made plans with an American woman to abuse her children and was actively encouraging pedophiles. 

McKay also said that Seguin had expressed a desire to rape several young women he knew and had shared their photos online. 

In total, police found 47 pornographic photos and two videos on the computer equipment seized from the Kitchener house. 

The justice said some of that material - including what Seguin had said in his chat room conversations - ranked Five on the Oliver Scale of Depravity. Level Five includes content that demonstrates sadism and bestiality. 

Crown hands down three year sentence

The Crown was seeking a three-year prison sentence, citing the seriousness of the crime.​

Seguin's defence lawyer was asking for 18 months, arguing that his client was truly sorry for his actions, and that he had never actually done the things he spoke of doing in the chat rooms.

In the end, McKay said that "more than three years would be justified," and settled on a three-year term for Seguin, minus time already served. 

Seguin will not be eligible for parole until his three years are complete. 

His parole restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • Attending a sexual behaviour clinic.
  • Not associating or contacting anyone under the age of 16, with the exception of his son. 
  • Not accessing online chat rooms. 
  • Not possessing any device that stores data or enables him to access the internet, unless it is needed for work purposes.

For 10 years, Seguin will also be restricted from: 

  • Owning a firearm. 
  • Going near a park, swimming area, school or any other area where children may be, unless he is supervised by an adult.
  • Participating in a job or volunteer activity that involves anyone under 16 years of age.
  • Having contact with anyone under 16 years of age, with the exception of his son. 
  • Using the internet to access chat rooms or certain websites.

Seguin will also have to register with the sex offender registry for life.