Ex-Chilliwack teacher convicted of child porn apologizes to community

Chilliwack courthouse. - File
Chilliwack courthouse.
— image credit: File

With hands shaking and holding back tears, convicted child pornography distributor John Patrick Davy read a statement in Chilliwack Provincial Court Tuesday directed in part at the community of Greendale and the students of the elementary school where he taught for years.

Davy was in court for the fourth day of a sentencing hearing that began March 27 after he pleaded guilty Feb. 19 to possession and distribution of child pornography.

He was arrested last May with more than 27,000 digital sexual images of children as young as toddlers.

In an unusual move in a courtroom attended only by the Times and Davy’s mother, the 44-year-old asked to address the court before his lawyer began submissions.

“For the past four years, I was privileged to teach the top grade in a small country school in the western reaches of  the Chilliwack district,” Davy read from a prepared statement, one that he later asked his lawyer to give to the Times. “The community is tightly-knit by a sense of shared values of faith and services to others, and their wonderful offspring brought these values into the classroom. I was welcomed into their homes, churches and to community events. . . .

“I’d right now wish to apologize to the children, the families, the colleagues and everyone in the Greendale community. I am deeply anguished by your collective anger and disappointment, and live in hope that one day you will allow a measure of forgiveness in your heart for my actions.”

(For a link to a related column on Davy and to see his entire message to the court, click here.)

Those “actions” included downloading, viewing and sharing with other child pornography fans images that included victims as young as two years old, according to the RCMP forensic investigator Sgt. Lorena Rostie.

When Davy was first arrested he was caught by police trying to hide an external hard drive into an attic access in his bedroom. Also seized were a laptop, computer tower and a bag with a towel and girl’s bikini inside.

A search of the hard drive and computers turned up more than 27,000 child porn images, 866 videos and 600 text files with pornographic stories about children as well as 32,572 images of naked or partly naked children and almost 67,000 “child-relevant” images.

Arrested, charged and released under strict conditions, he was then found in Kelowna on Sept. 12 with a computer that had more than 1,000 child porn images, 321 photos of naked or partly naked children that did not meet the definition of child porn, and 668 child-relevant images.

The reason for the ongoing delay in the sentencing hearing was defence’s request for a second psychologist’s report into Davy’s risk to reoffend. A first report by forensic psychologist Dr. Hendre Viljoen found Davy to be a low to moderate risk to reoffend.

Davy’s lawyer Martin Finch suggested the risk should be assessed at low, but Viljoen included the expanded “moderate” risk because of the pure volume of images found and the fact that once arrested and released, Davy was found breaching his bail conditions.

In court Tuesday, Crown counsel Andrea Ormiston took issue with some of the findings of defence’s psychologist Dr. Robert Ley’s report, which found that Davy has a preference for adult women.

“Which just seems perplexing, frankly, in light of this other evidence,” Ormiston said, pointing to a story Davy wrote about sexually assaulting a child, a bucket list that included the desire to have sex with a child, and the “vast collection” of child pornography that included no adult sexual images.

In his address to the court, Davy complained of being in custody for 257 days since his arrest—a fact perpetuated by his own defence—and he said it has had a “profound effect” on him.

“In my first week in custody,” Davy said. “I was blindsided and knocked down by a vicious punch when inmates inadvertently learned of my charges.”

While the sentencing hearing continues, Ormiston said the Crown was seeking 18 to 24 months in custody for the possession of child pornography charge, 26 months concurrent for the distribution charge, and a further six months to be served consecutively for the breach charge.

Davy’s sentencing hearing continues and should conclude June 6.

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