At Penticton’s courthouse, a B.C. Supreme Court justice has found a Penticton area man guilty on all charges over a child pornography sting involving local RCMP and the Saskatoon Police Service. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

Penticton man found guilty of child porn charges

A Supreme Court justice said Jesse Prince’s ‘preposterous’ testimony ‘flies in the face of common sense’

A judge has found Jesse Prince to be guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography, declaring his testimony “preposterous.”

Justice Kathleen Ker found Prince guilty of the charges about a month after his trial, in which Prince attempted to claim he had not been the owner of the computer and hard drive that had been seized in a police search of his father’s place, where he was living.

“Mr. Prince’s evidence flies in the face of common sense. The import of his evidence is that the computer was a family, public computer available to all, although found in his bedroom at the time of his arrest,” Ker said.

“He would also have the court believe that other users, including his father and nephew, would download programs onto the computer, engage in chats and communications about child pornography and exchange such materials in the open living room area of the residence.”

Ker further called it “preposterous to suggest the materials were downloaded in such a public way and left readily available on the computer desktop for all to use and see.”

The investigation into Prince was undertaken by the Saskatoon Police Service initially, with an undercover officer engaging Prince in discussions in an online forum, where he suggested he could provide the officer with child pornography.

Ultimately Prince sent about 15 files, which the officer determined to be child pornography, and used Prince’s internet protocol address to geolocate him on Green Mountain Road on Penticton Indian Band land.

A search warrant was executed on the property — Prince’s father’s house, where he was staying at the time — and 17 items were seized by police.

Of those 17 items, two were found to have more than 300 files of child pornography combined. That included a desktop computer and an external hard drive, both of which were in Prince’s bedroom.

The defence initially agreed that Prince owned the computer and hard drive in question in an official admission, but later attempted to rescind that admission — a difficult process in the Canadian legal system.

The defence withdrew its application to formally remove that admission from the record, but Prince still asserted in his testimony that the computer and hard drive weren’t his, but rather common use devices that were kept in the living room of the house.

But testimony from a computer forensics expert contradicted Prince’s testimony, with the expert noting that there was only evidence of one person using the computer and hard drive on a regular basis.

On top of the child pornography, numerous files related to Prince — including his resume, pictures of him and a video related to his former rap group Street Kings — were found on the computer. Some of those files were found to have been moved, removed, created or altered within minutes of child pornography files being moved, removed, created or altered on those devices.

One other person was found to have personal files on the hard drive, but that person’s use appeared to have been limited to just one day.

Ker also took aim at Prince’s claim that he had to obtain permission from his father to use the hard drive — files related to Prince were found to have been added to the device prior to his moving from his mother’s place to his father’s place.

“In the totality of the circumstances, when the evidence is considered as a whole, there are no other reasonable possibilities or inferences than that Mr. Prince downloaded and possessed the child pornography found on his desktop computer,” Ker said.

Prince will be sentenced at another date.


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

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