New Brunswick·New

N.B. man gets 10 years in child porn case

A New Brunswick judge sentenced a Tracyville man to 10 years in prison on Monday for a series of sex-related crimes.
Michael Gary Gilbert befriended families to get access to their children. (CBC)

A New Brunswick judge sentenced a Tracyville man to 10 years in prison on Monday for a series of sex-related crimes against children.

Judge Alfred Brien sentenced Michael Gary Gilbert to 15 years, but reduced it to 10 years and eight months because of time already served and because it took longer than the prescribed 24 hours to bring charges against him after he was arrested.

Gilbert, 41, pleaded guilty to 11 charges of producing child pornography, sexual touching and sexual assault in February. He told the court at the time that he had struggled with being homosexual and suffered from depression.

Gilbert was arrested at his home in Tracyville more than two years ago. The RCMP seized his computer and found thousands of images of child pornography, including many he produced himself.

There were also videos showing Gilbert with young boys between the ages of four and 16.

'An elevated level of abuse'

The judge called Gilbert a callous sexual predator who duped the victim's families into believing he was the friendly "Uncle Mike" who took young boys on camping trips and sleepovers. However, the court heard, he was all the while grooming them for what the judge called "an elevated level of abuse."

Gilbert remained impassive during the sentencing, not once looking at the public gallery, where his mother sat.  

Outside the court, a friend of one of the victims, who can't be identified, said 15 years is not enough for the damage Gilbert did.

"If he gets 20 years, it wouldn't be enough," the man said. "These kids are scarred for life — four-year-olds [who] know more about sex than some 16-or 17-year-olds." 

Crown prosecutor Karen Lee Lamrock had asked for a sentence of 18 to 20 years, but accepted the judge's decision. "The court did follow the precedent set by courts above it," she said.

The earliest Gilbert could apply for parole is 2013.