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Kamloops  

Business owner who 'lost everything' after wife found child porn avoids jail

No jail for child porn

A Kamloops business owner who lost his family, his home and his reputation when his wife found child pornography on his computer will not be going to jail, a judge has ruled.

Allan Stradeski, 67, pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday to one count of possession of child pornography.

Court heard Stradeski’s wife tipped off police about potential child pornography on his computer in the fall of 2020. When Mounties searched his devices, they found 22 images meeting the definition of child pornography.

Crown prosecutor Laura Drake said the pictures showed girls between the ages of eight and 12, either nude or wearing bikinis. She said the images were accompanied by text that was “overtly explicit” in describing sex acts.

Stradeski, who owns a construction company, was married for nearly 40 years before his wife found the images. She told their two grown children about the find and they confronted him.

Court heard Stradeski’s marriage ended as a result and his children have cut off all contact with him.

Defence lawyer Alexander Watt said in court that Stradeski is full of remorse.

“He has lost everything — his house, his family, his reputation,” he said.

Drake and Watt both described a number of “extraordinary” steps Stradeski has taken since the images were found, including treatment under the care of a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

Watt said the psychologist found Stradeski to be in the “lowest risk category” for re-offending. He said Stradeski did not see the harm in viewing photos of nude children until he met with doctors, who helped explain it to him.

“He now understands that this behaviour is criminal and he’s admitted and accepted how wrong it is and how harmful it is to young girls,” he said.

Watt said Stradeski’s “therapy is ongoing.”

“He’s not a sex addict, nor is he a pedophile,” he said. “He has some hebephilic tendencies — that is the attraction to females normally between the ages of 11 to 14.”

Possession of child pornography used to carry with it a mandatory minimum one-year sentence, but that was struck down in 2019.

Watt and Drake pitched a joint submission for a conditional sentence order — essentially house arrest — followed by a lengthy probation term.

Drake pointed to the steps Stradeski has taken to understand his offending.

“That is the objective the courts hope to achieve on an individual offender when sentencing them,” she said.

“And Mr. Stradeski here has done that work for himself prior to the sentencing. It’s for that reason the Crown has agreed to treat this as an exceptional case.”

Stradeski, who wiped tears from his eyes at points during the hearing, apologized in court.

“I’d like to certainly say I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused my family,” he said.

“This has been something I never anticipated going through in life. I hope to take only positive lessons from it and move forward, and continue to be the best person I can be. That’s always been my goal — now more than ever.”

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Joel Groves went along with the lawyers’ proposal, sentencing Stradeski to a six-month conditional sentence order to be followed by an 18-month period of probation.

For the duration, he will be bound by a curfew and have strict restrictions placed on his internet access. He will also be prohibited from possessing or accessing pornography of any kind, which was described in court as "a trigger."

“This accused learned from his error,” Groves said.

“He sought out treatment prior to his guilty plea and that has modified his understanding. I am satisfied it will affect his future behaviour.”

Stradeski was also ordered to register as a sex offender for 20 years and submit a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.



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