CALGARY - Alberta's highest court has imposed a tougher sentence on a former police commission chairman for child pornography and Internet luring.
Curtis Paradee of Taber, Alta., pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced last May to 90 days in jail, to be served on weekends, and an 18-month conditional term.
The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that the sentence was unfit and sentenced Paradee to 18 months in jail to be followed by three years of probation.
"This callous disregard of the effects on the young victim, serious and possibly permanent, is an aggravating factor which appears to have been overlooked or effectively and improperly discounted by the sentencing judge," reads the ruling by the three-judge panel.
Paradee was chairman of the Taber Police Commission when he began an Internet relationship with a 15-year-old girl in 2010.
He was 41 but posed as a 20-year-old man. Over a period of months, he persuaded the girl, who turned 16, to perform sex acts for him on a webcam.
Court heard the girl initially thought she was involved with a boy her own age and when she discovered it was a man, she became depressed and continues to suffer serious problems.
The appeal judges said there is an overwhelming need to protect vulnerable children from exploitation and criticized provincial court Judge Derek Redman for how he handled the case.
"The sentencing judge focused almost entirely on the potential for rehabilitation of the offender, to the almost complete exclusion of any consideration of the effects of the offender's conduct on the victim," wrote Justice Marina Paperny.
"It is clear from the victim impact statements that this young woman has experienced serious psychological damage, leading her to self-harm, self-medication and potentially self-destruction."
The Appeal Court sentenced Paradee to 12 months for Internet luring and six months for accessing child pornography, to be served consecutively.
Paperny wrote that she considered imposing longer sentences on both charges.
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