NANAIMO — A retired Nanaimo RCMP officer found himself on the wrong side of the law after secretly taking pictures of his stepdaughter while she was naked in the washroom of their family home.
The 72-year-old man, who cannot be named due to a sweeping publication ban, was sentenced to six months house arrest and 18-months probation on Monday at provincial court in Nanaimo.
The man originally pleaded not guilty, then late last year the offender admitted to a charge of secretly observing or recording nudity in a private place.
During an agreed statement of facts, Court was told the secret picture-taking took place between March 2016 and April 2018.
The offender was outside and took several pictures primarily of the completely unsuspecting woman's genitals.
She was 17 to 20-years-old at the time.
The offender was caught when his then-wife interrupted him while viewing the secret images and he tried to destroy a memory card.
Crown prosecutor Nick Barber, citing a psychologist's pre-sentence report, said the man had erectile dysfunction due to a medical condition.
“He's offending in this way, taking photographs of his step-daughter for sexual gratification, when the internet is available to him.”
Barber said the crimes took significant planning and showed a prolonged breach of trust. He said it doesn't appear the pictures were used for anything beyond the offender's personal use.
The victim and her mother suspected a stranger was peering through their bathroom window but the offender persuaded them otherwise, Barber said.
“She's being told to keep the window open to let steam out. She does what she's told, she's not suspicious of her stepfather, she had no reason to be at that point.”
Barber said there appeared to be some deflection on behalf of the offender, pointing to comments he made to the psychologist on the impact his actions may have had on the primary victim.
“I don't know. I haven't had any contact with her,” the offender said. “I'm sure I've devastated her opinion of me for sure. I don't know if I've harmed her toward men in general, there's that possibility.”
Barber said the psychologist believed the man was a low to moderate risk to re-offend.
Bert King, the offender's lawyer, said his client lost a lot by his stupidity, including his second marriage, house and many friendships.
King said the offender's grandchildren don't talk to him anymore.
“He's been ostracized in the community and being a police officer his whole social life outside of his family ended up being within the RCMP. That's history,” King said.
The offender, who had a 30-year career with the RCMP, caused extensive hurt to people around him, as well as personal shame and humiliation, King said.
The man briefly addressed Judge Douglas Cowling by saying he's extremely remorseful for his actions. He said he has a renewed faith with God and is working hard to restore his integrity.
“I am very remorseful for their hurt and the pain that I have caused. I do not like the person I became, but I am proud of the man standing before you today.”
The offender reported significant strides while in counselling.
Judge Cowling called the man's actions an extreme breach of trust, which were highlighted in victim impact statements expressing shock and dismay from the victim and her mother.
Naming the offender was originally fair game, however Judge Cowling and King raised concerns it could lead to the victim being identified.
Judge Cowling said she could apply to have the offender's name made public.
The offender was supported in Court by several family and friends, including members of his Nanaimo church.
His house arrest includes a curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., but does allow him to attend after-hours counseling and community work service duties.
He was given a hefty 200-hour community service order.
The man now resides in a local campground and plans to move to the Lower Mainland.
On Twitter: @reporterholmes
Car stolen and home ransacked in apparent coordinated Qualicum B&E
NANAIMO —It'll be a sour dose of reality for vacationing Qualicum Beach homeowners robbed during a...
READ MORE +
Street drug use should be decriminalized to cut deaths: B.C. health officer
VICTORIA — A push by British Columbia's health officer to decriminalize drug possession in the...
READ MORE +
Woman convicted after high-profile vigilante style arrest in Nanaimo
NANAIMO — A woman who pleaded guilty to a widely reported break-in was set free due to credit for...
READ MORE +