Young man jailed for posting sex video with teen

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Nearly four years after sharing with friends a video of himself having sex with a younger teenager, a young local man was sentenced to jail on Wednesday.

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Also nearly four years later, the young woman, who was only 16 at the time, is still enduring fear and other traumatic consequences of that criminal violation of her privacy.

“I am distressed by her suffering three and a half years later,” Superior Court Justice Kirk Munroe said in sentencing the young man — 18 at the time but 21 now — to 60 days in jail, followed by three years on probation.

The court imposed a publication ban on the victim’s name, who was only referred to by the judge by her initials. The Windsor Star is not naming the perpetrator to further protect the identity of the victim, who was his girlfriend at the time.

The young man originally faced six criminal charges, including counts related to extortion, distribution of child porn and threat to damage property. Last August, he pleaded guilty to a single count of distribution of an intimate image without consent. The Crown on Wednesday asked the judge to have those other charges withdrawn.

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According to facts read out at this week’s sentencing, the two teens were in a consensual sexual relationship but the male secretly recorded their intimate physical relations. When she found out and broke off the relationship, he threatened her and then shared the video with several other friends.

Under federal legislation enacted in 2015 aimed at preventing cyberbullying and attacks on privacy and dignity, perpetrators face prison terms of up to five years for such crime. Were it not for the guilty party’s youth, guilty plea, lack of criminal record, supportive family and COVID-19’s impact within the prison system, “a longer sentence would have been appropriate,” Munroe said.

The Crown, arguing the need for denunciation and deterrence, was seeking a jail term of between four and six months, followed by two years probation, while the defence had asked for a suspended sentence, in part due to the young man’s guilty plea and expression of remorse.

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In a victim impact statement, the victim described how she still lives in fear and anxiety and is now unable to trust others. She said she’s too young to have to live with a “safety plan” for when she’s at school, home or work.

The judge said he was “impressed” with character letters from family and others expressing support for a young man described as intelligent, respectful and hard-working. They point to his shame and show of remorse for the harm he committed, with the perpetrator’s mother saying it “breaks my heart” thinking of the victim: “I’d never allow my son to think this was OK.”

The judge also ordered the young man to supply a blood sample for a DNA databank used by police to solve crimes, and he levied a $200 victim surcharge fine.

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