Revelstoke man gets two years for distributing child porn

Roger Thrale sentenced to two years in prison for accessing and distributing child pornography.

A Revelstoke man was sentenced to two years in prison for accessing and distributing child pornography.

Roger Thrale was sentenced for downloading and making available child pornography videos, with at least one featuring a title indicating the victim was under the age of five.

Judge Lisa Wyatt issued her sentence in Revelstoke court last Thursday, Oct. 8, after hearing submissions from the Crown and defence lawyers the previous day.

In a slight twist, Thrale’s lawyer Chris Johnston actually asked for a longer sentence – one day longer – so Thrale could serve his time in the federal prison system where there’s better access to treatment and counselling.

The verdict ended a lengthy court court process that began with Thrale’s first appearance in April 2014. He pleaded guilty in August 2014, however his sentencing was delayed first to allow him to retire, then because his lawyer was unavailable.

Crown prosecutor Frank Caputo read out the circumstances of Thrale’s crime in court. He said that from May 1, 2012, to Nov. 27, 2013, Thrale was guilty of possessing and accessing child pornography.

Thrale was arrested in November 2013 after an RCMP investigator in Abbottsford traced an Internet address connected to accessing child pornography to Thrale’s computer. His home was searched and his computer was seized as a result.

Police found evidence he downloaded child pornography several hundred times. Forty-two videos remained on the hard drive when the computer was seized, said Caputo.

Caputo presented a sealed binder containing images from one video. After some discussion, both the prosecution and defence agreed the binder did not to be opened in court.

“This is obviously very, very serious,” said Caputo.

Thrale underwent a pre-sentence report and a psychiatric assessment. Caputo said in the latter, Thrale showed a lack of insight regarding the impact of his crimes. He said Thrale required ongoing treatment and asked for a sentence of two years in prison for the distribution charge, one year in prison for possession, and one year of probation.

Johnston argued for a lighter sentence for Thrale, saying the public shaming he will experience as a result of this article was worse than imprisonment. He asked for Thrale to be sentenced in federal prison since there is better access to treatment programs.

He said Thrale had the support of his wife and three children, who supported him in seeking treatment for his problems.

He noted Thrale had no criminal record and pleaded guilty at the first possible opportunity — two mitigating factors when it comes to sentencing.

On Thursday, Judge Wyatt handed down her sentence. She said that the nature of the videos, and their number, warranted a sentence longer than the mandatory minimum of one year.

Wyatt also noted that while Thrale expressed remorse, there were questions about whether or not he recognized the severity of his crimes and the impact on the child victims.

“I am of the view that he will need further intensive counselling in order to fully understand the magnitude of these crimes,” she said.

She handed down a two year prison sentence along with three years probation, with conditions including a prohibition on accessing the Internet and being around children without supervision.

“I am of the view that counselling and monitoring of him for a lengthier term following his period of incarceration will assist in his rehabilitation and the protection of the public,” she said.

 

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