Opinion

OPINION: Chilliwack child porn distributor feels sorry . . . for himself

Self-loathing and self-pity are hard to tell apart from afar.

Convicted child pornography distributor John Patrick Davy doesn’t like the way things are going for him in jail as he awaits to be sentenced for his crimes.

“In my first week in custody,” the former Greendale elementary school teacher told the court in Chilliwack Tuesday. “I was blindsided and knocked down by vicious punch when inmates inadvertently learned of my charges.”

Don’t all jump up with sympathy at once.

I’ve been following the Davy story as closely as I can, and what I’ve learned is that he is a highly educated, intelligent and articulate man.

And he likes to watch grown men have sex with little girls.

It’s arguably worth noting that he has never been convicted, charged or even accused of doing anything to any child in reality. He likes videos and pictures of such things, abhorrent to be sure, but criminally less so than those who produce the material.

Davy pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of child pornography, as well as for breaching his bail conditions after he was first arrested.

With at least one family member in the court in April, Davy was in such constant motion, wincing, stretching and twisting, that he appeared to be in physical pain.

The shame must be stifling.

In court Tuesday, Davy asked to address the court before his own lawyer even began sentencing submissions. What he read to the court was, I suppose, an apology. (See below for Davy's entire apology.)

There are many types of apologies.

Many married people have experienced in their own relationship the apology along the lines of, “I’m sorry you are upset.”

Then there are the criminal apologies that go “I’m sorry I got caught.”

Then, of course, there are legitimate apologies from guilty parties at all levels —from husbands to criminals—where the person in question realizes fully what they have done wrong, is cloaked in empathy for the wronged, and desperately wishes they could go back in time.

Davy’s apology, with hands trembling and voice cracking seemed to be of the latter variety.

But it’s hard to tell if he feels sorry or feels sorry for himself.

It certainly wasn’t as shallow as the “I’m-sorry-you-are-upset” type, but I would argue was more of the “I’m-sorry-I-got-caught” type.

In his 1,100-word speech, Davy pointed to the “profound effect” having been in custody for 257 days has had on him. The irony is that the typed out piece of paper he read from was dated April 22, 2014 and “257” had been hand-written over a crossed-out “211,” yet the only reason he’s been in pre-sentencing custody so long is because of his own lawyer’s delays.

He says he is in an “incomprehensible situation” and it has been an “immense challenge.”

His statement reeked of a man who, like so many criminals, is sorry, very, very, very sorry.

But mostly for himself.

After he read his statement, and after the judge left the courtroom, he asked his lawyer to give the paper he read from to me. He knew I was a reporter and, presumably, wants his apology to the people of Greendale and the parents, students and former colleagues at Greendale elementary to be heard.

I anticipate some will say he doesn’t deserve even the chance to apologize. Part of me thinks, “No, I’m not going to tell the people of Greendale how filled with ‘shame, humiliation and self-loathing’ you are. Someone might forgive you.”

But the information gatherer in me, the journalist in me, says, “OK, here it is. What do you think?”

To see Davy’s full statement as read in court on May 27 visit www.chilliwacktimes.com under this column in the Opinion section.

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