Manitoba

Sex predator who targeted young runaways gets 21 years

A child sex predator whose victims included a young girl who later died of suicide has been sentenced to 21 years in prison. Kevin Rose, 44, previously pleaded guilty to 19 offences involving five girls between the ages of 13 and 17 and a 22-year-old woman.

Kevin Rose claimed he was helping girls

Child sex predator Kevin Rose has been sentenced to 21 years in prison. (Bert Savard/CBC)

A child sex predator whose victims included a young girl who later died by suicide has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Kevin Rose, 44, previously pleaded guilty to 19 offences involving five girls between the ages of 13 and 17 and a 22-year-old woman. The offences included multiple counts of procuring for a sexual purpose, permitting prostitution in his home, voyeurism, making child pornography and internet luring.

"Whatever sentence I impose will not undo the harm to the victims ... but if it deters Kevin Rose and deters others it will have accomplished something," said Judge Dale Harvey. "While lengthy, [the sentence] is necessary, fit and appropriate."

Whatever sentence I impose will not undo the harm to the victims ... but if it deters Kevin Rose and it deters others it will have accomplished something.- Judge Dale Harvey

All five teen victims were Indigenous, had been in the care of Child and Family Services and had been chronic runaways. Four of the five had involvement in the youth justice system.

A teenage victim killed herself in July 2016, just hours after meeting with justice officials to discuss the case against Rose.

While there is no way to prove it, Rose's abuse of the girl "was likely a factor" in her suicide, Harvey said.

Rose, who also continued to run a duct-cleaning business while in pre-sentence custody, targeted many of his victims through Facebook, where he portrayed himself as being free with drugs, booze, and money. Rose used the girls for sex and steered them into prostitution. 

Rose claimed at a sentencing hearing in September that he believed he was helping the victims.

"For the offender to think he was helping the girls must seem ludicrous to any reasonable person," Harvey said Thursday. "It is impossible to accept his position."

Rose came to police attention in November 2014 after the mother of a friend of one of his young victims reported finding "inappropriate" Facebook messages between Rose and the then 15-year-old victim. 

At the time, Rose was bound by a court order not to communicate with anybody under 16, following a 2011 conviction for possession of child pornography. 

Interviewed in custody at the Manitoba Youth Centre, the girl said she met Rose on Facebook and then two times in person for "trades" — sex for cash.

Rose was in custody for breaching his no-contact order in January 2015 when police interviewed a second victim. The girl said Rose added her as a Facebook friend when she was 13. Rose told the girl he had drugs and alcohol if she wanted to visit him at his home and asked her if she "does tricks."

Another then 16-year-old victim told police Rose let her stay at his home and took pictures of her for online sex ads. Rose provided the girl with a cellphone and responded to texts from men seeking her sex services.

An adult victim met Rose after telling one of the youth victims she was interested in working as an escort. During the woman's lone visit to Rose's home in November 2014, Rose secretly recorded her and the youth having sex with a customer.

The youth in the video — the same victim who later died by suicide — told police she met Rose when she was 13. When she was 15, Rose asked her if she would like to have sex with men for money. In a video of the discussion played for court, Rose is heard advising the girl to tell a man she is about to meet for sex at Rose's home that she is 16. 

Rose recorded the two having sex without their knowledge.

Later, after he had been arrested and taken into custody, Rose continued to arrange sexual encounters for the girl at his home and on one occasion had her leave the phone line open so he could listen in.

Rose continued to communicate with his victims while in custody and enlisted another woman to help him discourage one of the girls from testifying against him.

"Maybe she will OD [overdose] and somebody will dump her in the river," Rose said in an audio recording of a jailhouse phone conversation provided to court.

Rose received credit for time served, reducing his remaining sentence to just under 17 1/2 years.

About the Author

Dean Pritchard

Court reporter

A reporter for over 20 years, CBC Manitoba's Dean Pritchard has covered the court beat since 1999, both in the Brandon region and Winnipeg. He can be contacted at dean.pritchard@cbc.ca.