Sudbury Crown ill; child porn case delayed

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The second half of the trial of a Sudbury father accused of taking inappropriate pictures of his teen daughter is on hold until next week.

The trial, which was held Tuesday and Wednesday, did not resume Friday as scheduled because assistant Crown attorney Don Singleton was not feeling well.

Singleton asked Superior Court Justice Alex Kurke to postpone the trial until next Thursday when he expects to be better.

“It seems a reasonable request in the circumstances, Mr. Singleton,” said Kurke. “I’m going to grant the adjournment.”

The teen’s now 44-year-old father is charged with one count of use of a computer system to make contact with a minor for the purpose of soliciting for the commission of an offence, and one count of making child pornography from Nov. 5 to 16, 2016.

There is a publication ban protecting the identity of the female teen.

One thing accomplished Friday was the filing of an agreed statement of facts ironed out by Singleton and defence lawyer Michael Venturi, eliminating the need for several Greater Sudbury Police officers to testify. The statement, which deals with police forensic examinations of an iPod and cellphone turned over to police by the teen’s mother, was not read out in court.

In the event Venturi decides not to call any defence witnesses next week, the trial would then proceed to closing submissions.

On Wednesday, the teen’s mother testified she was overwhelmed to discover inappropriate pictures of her daughter on a cellphone given to the girl by her ex-spouse in mid-November 2016.

The mother said her daughter told her she had been taking pictures of herself, so the woman opened the cellphone, which was not password protected, and was shocked at what she found.

“It was a picture of (the daughter) in a panty and bra, not showing her face and pointing down toward her chest and her panties,” testified the mother, her voice filled with emotion. “I looked at the picture. It took my breath away “¦ The pictures were not appropriate. That’s not modelling pictures.”

Asked how could she be sure it was her daughter in the picture and others, the mother said she recognized the bra, as well as her daughter’s body.

The mother said the teen told her that her father was putting her into modelling and that she wanted to make money and buy a cellphone.

She also said she didn’t know the teen had a phone, but discovered it when she noticed on their router that another electronic device in the home was accessing the Internet after the daughter had gone to bed

On Tuesday, the teen testified she was living with her mother at the time of the alleged crimes, but she was in constant contract with her father through Facebook Messenger installed on an iPod her father had given her.

She said via closed circuit television she felt pressured to take inappropriate pictures of herself and forward them to her father for cash.

The teen said it was her dad’s idea for her to take the pictures of herself in a bathing suit and she would receive $1,000. She also said she was told she could get $50,000 if she posed topless.

The girl said she was told to take photographs using her iPod, forward them to her father via Facebook Messenger and then delete them. The teen said she was also told not to let her mother learn about the photographs.

When asked why she went ahead and took the pictures, the teen said, “because he manipulated me.”

“He told me I would be making money, a thousand dollars, so I could get a phone and ‘you could get whatever you want with the money,’” she testified.

During Venturi’s cross-examination, the teen said it was her idea to take the photos.

Venturi pressed the teen on a conversation she said she had with her father about getting a job to pay for a cellphone.

“I’m going to suggest dad never pressured you to make a yes or no decision about being a model: is that fair?” he said.

The teen replied yes.

“It was always up to you whether you wanted to take pictures and be a model?” asked the lawyer, to which the teen replied “right.”

“He said he was never going to pressure you: is that fair?” continued Venturi, to which the teen said “yes.”

“I would suggest to you, you always wanted to do the modelling so you could get the money to buy an iPhone: right,” asked Venturi.

The teen answered “right.”

hcarmichael@postmedia.com

Twitter: @HaroldCarmichae