‘Little denial’ delays child-porn sentencing

Sentencing for a South Surrey man who has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography was delayed Monday after he disputed a report that identified the illegal downloads as intentional.

“He denies making any Google searches for that material,” defense lawyer Gordon Welock told Judge Michael Hicks, describing the situation as “an unfortunate development.”

Welock is defending Douglas Wayne Bowers, who was arrested and charged in 2009 after an investigation by the RCMP’s Integrated Child Exploitation Team led police to a man they described as “another prolific distributor of child sexual abuse images and video online.”

While a teenaged B.C. victim was identified, police found no indication Bowers was involved in the production of child pornography.

Bowers pleaded guilty to the charge last December. Prior to that appearance, he told Peace Arch News the images were inadvertently downloaded when he accessed adult-pornography websites.

Welock told Hicks that Bowers does not want to change or strike his guilty plea, however, the issue of Google searches “certainly goes to… the intent.” Other people had access to Bowers’ computer, Welock said.

Crown Jodie Harris told Hicks the complication was brought to her attention just before Monday’s sentencing hearing was to get underway. Noting the case has already been adjourned at least twice, Harris told Hicks that Bowers’ new position is “extremely important” in regard to sentencing.

The matter was adjourned to Oct. 31, to fix a date for sentencing. Harris anticipated the new proceeding would require testimony from a number of witnesses and take “more than a day.”

The minimum sentence for possession of child pornography is 45 days incarceration.

Outside court, Welock reiterated Bowers is not taking issue with his guilty plea.

“He’s just making a little denial,” Welock said.


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