A Comox Valley man was sentenced in provincial court May 30 for child pornography possession and distribution. Photo by Mike Chouinard

A Comox Valley man was sentenced in provincial court May 30 for child pornography possession and distribution. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Vancouver Island man sentenced six months for child porn possession

“The biggest hardship has been the collateral damage to my family.”

A Comox Valley man will spend the next six months in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography.

Joseph Stephane Mallette had pleaded guilty to two charges in Courtenay Provincial Court in late 2021 and was in court May 30 for sentencing. The 40-year-old had no prior criminal record.

Judge Catherine Crockett accepted the joint submission from Crown and defence counsel, which included two years probation and two victim surcharge fines of $200 each, a DNA order and an order restricting contact with people under 16 years of age, particularly at locations such as pools, parks and schools

Seated next to his lawyer, Chris Churchill, Mallette was visibly distraught, particularly over the effect news of the charges had had on his family.

“The biggest hardship has been the collateral damage to my family,” he said.

When passing sentence, Crockett cited the seriousness of the offences but added that Mallette had the support of his family. She also noted Churchill’s submissions stating Mallette had “been perfect” while on bail, was considered a low to moderate risk and had responded to treatment at a regional program for sex offenders. The judge accepted that Mallette understood that young people had been victims of his sharing of the images and that he took responsibility for actions.

“Most people are just thinking of themselves when they come before the court,” Crockett said.

In his own words, Mallette admitted he had “messed up” but did not lack morals.

“I understand now the impact that it’s had,” he said. “The victims in the pictures are victims.”

Mallette described the last couple of years he spent at home with his family as his most peaceful. He had spent 13 years commuting to work in the oil fields in Alberta and likened the job to being in jail. During this time, he said, he was drinking more and lonely. It was then he started viewing child pornography sites.

In September 2018 though, police started investigating and eventually identified him through a chat site. At this point he sent a number of files online. In May 2020, investigators conducted a search at a residence in the Courtenay area and found more than 500 photographic images and almost 100 videos categorized as child pornography on his electronic devices.

The British Columbia Integrated Child Exploitation (BC ICE) Unit worked with Comox Valley RCMP on the case and placed Mallette under arrest in September 2020, according to a police news release at the time.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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