Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad

House arrest for child porn possession, sex assault

Brent Reaney
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Feb 21/05) - An Iqaluit man who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and sexual assault has been sentenced to house arrest and will be able to continue working.

After pleading guilty to the two charges on separate occasions, James Paton was given consecutive conditional sentences totalling two years less a day on Feb. 14.

A six-month sentence for the possession of child pornography charge was given, along with 17 months and 29 days for the charge of sexual assault.

On Nov. 28, 2001, Iqaluit RCMP seized a laptop computer owned by Paton containing approximately 2,000 pornographic images of children aged 6-14.

Seized at the same time was a home video featuring Paton and a minor who he had provided alcohol to, then performed sexual acts on - including cunnilingus and intercourse. The minor was unconscious for part of the time. The tape was made between Jan. 1998 and Nov. 2001.

A risk appraisal done in the pre-sentence report deemed Paton to be of low risk to re-offend. He is expected to serve his sentence in his Iqaluit home.

"I hope he has learned from this painful experience that he has been through and can put it behind him and continue to progress in his rehabilitation," said Justice Earl Johnson in his reasons for decision.

But if Paton violates any conditions of his sentence, the Crown says the 36-year-old could spend time in jail.

"The Crown had suggested that a jail sentence would be more appropriate in the case of the sexual assault, but we're not commenting any further on this issue," said Crown attorney Michael Jones, outside of court.

He wouldn't say whether the Crown was looking to appeal the decision.

A pair of other charges against Paton were stayed after he agreed to plead guilty to the sexual assault.

A former alcoholic, Paton has been sober for five years, says his defense lawyer. He has become an active member of the Anglican Church community during that time, the lawyer added.

Some of the conditions of Paton's sentence include remaining in his house all day, except when at work between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Paton must also not have pornographic material and must allow searches of his home.

He can not use a computer - or the Internet - except while at work.

He is also prohibited from being alone with anyone under the age of 16.