WARNING: This story contains graphic and disturbing content.
A 40-year-old Summerland man convicted of possessing child pornography will serve his sentence in the community, following a judge’s decision in Penticton’s Law Courts on Monday, Feb. 7.
Roderick Alfred Kirkman Van Duyvenbode was sentenced to a conditional order of two years less a day, or 729 days, followed by 18 months probation. He will be registered as a sexual offender and he will not be allowed any device with internet access that does not keep an accessible and untouched history.
Police executed a search warrant of Van Duyvenbode’s Summerland residence in 2018, after the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children were alerted to an upload of three child porn images. On the computers seized, 1,310 distinct images of child pornography were found, as well as 377 distinct videos, many of which were explicit and featured pre-pubescent children.
His consumption of the material began as early as 2003, with the man accessing it daily, according to evidence brought forward in court.
“The phrase ‘child pornography’ dilutes the true meaning of what these images and videos represent,” said Judge Gregory Koturbash. “The term ‘pornography’ reinforces the perception that what is occurring is consensual and a mutual experience between the viewer and the actor: these are not actors, this is not consensual, these are images and videos of child sexual abuse and exploitation.”
Since the seizure, Van Duyvenbode sought out and joined a rehabilitation program, as well as regularly seeing a professional for more specific counselling. Part of the submission by the defence and the conditions of the sentence and probation are for him to continue receiving professional counselling.
Van Duyvenbode pleaded guilty early on in proceedings. He spoke before the courts prior to sentencing and expressed his shame and regret for his actions.
“I’ve revictimized children, adding to already unimaginable pain and suffering. I knew it was wrong when I did it, and the depth of that knowledge has only grown over the past two years,” he said. “I abhor what I have done and I will spend the rest of my life making amends for it.
“I have a nephew and a niece who I love dearly and it terrifies me that something like this might happen to them. When the police officers searched my home, they stripped away every shred of self-delusion I had about what I was doing. I didn’t know how to stop, despite repeated attempts. I am grateful beyond words for the opportunity they gave me to change my life.”
When it came to the sentencing, a number of factors were considered by the judge, including: Van Duyvenbode’s guilty plea, lack of a criminal record, his participation in treatment, donations and support for charitable organizations in the community and the remorse and capacity for reform.
Van Duyvenbode’s support network of family, an employer and addiction group, as well as potential setbacks if he were to be put behind bars, were also considered.
Those leading his treatment told the court he was a low risk for reoffending.
Aggravating factors included the explicit nature of the images and videos and the very young ages of the victims.
“I accept as your counsel has pointed out that there is a strong and clear link between your illness and disorders and your offending behaviour,” said Koturbash.
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