POLITICS

Sentencing set for New Brunswick city councillor in child pornography case

06/25/2013 11:48 EDT | Updated 08/25/2013 05:12 EDT
SAINT JOHN, N.B. - A former city councillor in Saint John, N.B., will be sentenced August 29 on nearly four dozen charges including child pornography and sexual assault.

Donnie Snook sat quietly as the sentencing date was set today in Saint John.

Snook pleaded guilty last month to 46 charges including sexual assault and possessing, distributing and making child pornography.

The 41-year-old was arrested in January by the RCMP after an investigation that began in 2011 involving the Saint John and Toronto police.

The RCMP say the crimes began in January 2001 until Snook's arrest and involved 17 boys, most of whom were from the Saint John area and between the ages of five and 15 at the time of the offences.

Investigators seized computer equipment and images when Snook's east-end home was searched.

He was elected to city council in 2008 and was involved in community organizations including the Inner City Youth Ministry, which provides sports programs, mentoring and lunches at three schools.

Dennis Boyle, Snook's lawyer, says he expects judge Alfred Brien to reserve his decision on sentencing after the hearing is held in August.

He also wondered whether it would be better for Snook to receive treatment before he undergoes a court-ordered assessment.

"The ultimate thrust of this (assessment) is to see what tendencies towards pedophilia does he have, establish a baseline there, and also to try to find out a propensity to reoffend," he said.

Boyle said the police investigation in Saint John is complete. Asked if Snook could face more charges, he nodded and said: "Yes."

Court documents say Snook is also charged with two counts each of sexual assault and sexual interference in Corner Brook, N.L.

The charges involve one boy, who was less than 14 years of age, when the incidents allegedly occurred in the mid-1990s.

Information sworn before the court on May 24 says the alleged offences happened between Dec. 1, 1995, and April 1, 1996, and between July and August of 1996.

The first two offences are alleged to have happened at or near Mount Moriah, N.L., while the second two were at or near Barachois Pond Park southeast of Stephenville.