Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia teen guilty in child porn case to undergo assessment

A 19-year-old Nova Scotia man, convicted of child pornography charges after spreading topless images of a 15-year-old girl, must undergo a psychological and psychiatric assessment before he is sentenced.

Justice Anne Derrick laments 'harm caused by the callous exploitation of internet anonymity'

A 19-year-old Nova Scotia man, convicted of child pornography charges after spreading topless images of a 15-year-old girl, must undergo a psychological and psychiatric assessment before he is sentenced.

The man committed the offences when he was 16 years old, so his identity is protected by a publication ban. He was found guilty of extortion and possessing and distributing child pornography after persuading a 16-year-old girl to send him a photos of herself while topless.

In ruling on an assessment, Judge Anne Derrick described it as a "troubling case" and said the teen engaged in a "merciless campaign" against the girl.

The teen extorted the topless picture from the girl by creating fake Facebook accounts to contact to her.

When he tired of the charade, he told his victim that the Facebook friend she had been communicating with had committed suicide. The victim ended up trying to kill herself as a result.

"One of the fake online identities was told to have killed herself that was part of the overall ruse here, and that was very upsetting to not just the victim in this matter, but a friend of hers as well," Mark Heerema, the Crown prosecutor, said outside court.

"Ultimately, it was something that led them to engage in self-harm behaviour."

Heerema said the girl was very fragile and has had difficulty with this experience.

Derrick pointed out that the convicted teen also has problems. Quoting from his testimony, the judge said: "He went on to say that he has seen doctors and psychologists about 'mental health problems,' has been prescribed medications and diagnosed with social anxiety."

The judge rejected the Crown's request to subject the teen to a more rigorous psycho-sexual assessment, saying the procedure was too invasive and could be harmful to him. She also pointed out he has no prior record.

Derrick has tentatively scheduled two dates in the fall for sentencing.

"This is a troubling case and I believe I will be assisted by these assessments in determining the appropriate sentence," she said.

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