John David Cornell, 51, plead guilty to possession of child pornography, possession of child pornography for the purposes of distribution and sexual interference on April 20,2017.
Superior Court Justice Danial Newton, accepting a joint submission from the Crown and defence, sentenced Cornell to two years less a day in jail followed by a three-year probation period.
Crown prosecutor Rob Kozak told the court there was a “very extensive collection” of 2,979 videos and 12,661 images of child pornography “preserved in a very organized manner” found during forensic examination of a computer and multiple external storage devices seized by Thunder Bay Police Service officers on April 21, 2015.
Kozak, reading from an agreed statement of facts, said child pornography files were uploaded to two Twitter accounts on Oct. 22, 2014 and again on Nov. 19, 2014 from an IP address registered to Cornell. The subsequent investigation conducted by the police’s cybercrime unit determined the two email addresses used to upload the child pornography were connected to the computer, which also had an exact duplicate of the material.
The prosecutor said society has recognized child pornography offences are “an evil that needs to be dealt with appropriately” with possession of the illicit material perpetuating a market that victimizes the most vulnerable.
That examination of the computer and storage devices found nude images and videos of a female who was determined to be under the age of 18. The resulting investigation determined there had been a history of sexual activity between Cornell and the female.
The seven-year sexual relationship began when the complainant was 14, which was initially lawful. However, when amendments to the Criminal Code in 2008 raised the age of consent to 16 the relationship became unlawful until she reached that age in December 2009.
Kozak said the complainant did not approach police and only became involved when officers found and contacted her.
Defence lawyer David Bruzzesse said he’d never had the situation where a change to the law promptly made a relationship illegal and called the situation “very unusual.”
***UPDATE: This man has now been released back into society.