Chilliwack Law Courts. (Progress file)

B.C. Mountie sentenced in ‘particularly heinous’ revenge porn case

Former RCMP officer uploaded videos of explicit acts with fellow Mountie to pornography website

A former RCMP officer who pleaded guilty in a “particularly heinous” revenge porn case was handed a 15-month conditional sentence in provincial court in Chilliwack on Tuesday (June 23).

The accused, J.S. – who The Progress is not naming due to a publication ban on information that could serve to identify the victim – posted three videos of explicit sexual activity with a fellow RCMP recruit to a popular pornography website in 2017.

The videos were posted on the publicly accessible site and included the city location and the first and last name of the complainant. The victim’s face was also visible in at least one of the explicit videos, and each video received more than 1,000 views.

After an RCMP investigation, J.S. was charged with one count of publication of an intimate image without consent.

Given the restricted operations of provincial courts amid the COVID-19 pandemic, J.S. had attempted to plead guilty to the charge one month ago, on May 27, but Judge Kristen Mundstock declined to accept the plea in that manner.

Mundstock ordered that J.S. face the court for arraignment and sentencing in person.

• READ MORE: COLUMN: Chilliwack judge refuses to hear guilty plea and sentencing over the phone

In accepting the guilty plea and putting forth a joint sentencing submission on June 23, Crown counsel James Whiting called it a fit sentence given the circumstances.

“The area of revenge porn is a serious one,” Whiting said. “It is a very sad type of offence that does have a very significant impact on victims.”

He added that 15 months for a first offence is “significant,” and “it does reflect the cruel and premedidated nature of this offence.”

After the videos were discovered and shared with the victim, the matter was investigated by the RCMP. J.S. was arrested and underwent a series of disciplinary measures culminating in his termination from the force.

Crown told the court June 23 that J.S. has “a very stable lifestyle now.” He is employed in a new field, and has made efforts to re-engage with his community and particularly with his church.

“He has largely done what society would ask him to do,” Whiting said.

J.S.’s lawyer David Duncan said that his client has the full support of his spouse, her mother, and even his church’s leaders know what occurred and have been helping with counselling.

Duncan pointed to what he called several mitigating factors, including the guilty plea, the lack of a criminal record, his remorse and his otherwise good character.

On this matter, Crown and defence disagreed, with Whiting suggesting only the guilty plea was mitigating, something with which Judge Mundstock agreed.

“People are expected to obey the law,” Mundstock said, deciding that the lack of a criminal record is not a mitigating factor.

The guilty plea, however, was a strong mitigating factor in that it avoided the need for a trial, which would have lasted more than six days with witnesses from at least four provinces.

Duncan said that J.S. knew he had the right to address the court, but he did not want to do so.

“He is very nervous and very ashamed so he asked me to express that,” Duncan said.

In agreeing with the joint submission, Judge Mundstock called it “particularly heinous” to share explicit videos filmed with an intimate partner to a public porn site purely out of spite.

“His actions were deliberate and mean-spirited,” Mundstock said. “Given his training as an RCMP officer, his moral blameworthiness is particularly high in my view.”

She agreed with the joint submission of a 15-month conditional sentence order, which does not involve jail time but means he serves his sentence in the community. He has to reside 24 hours a day at his home in Chilliwack only being allowed to leave the property under special conditions.

• RELATED: Man gets jail time for posting explicit photos of ex-girlfriends

• RELATED: Chilliwack Crown asking for nine years prison for prolific offender


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
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