Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sex offender blames booze, seeks leniency

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A convicted U.S. sex offender claims alcoholism caused a downward spiral that led to him getting busted trying to smuggle child pornography into Canada.

Gregory Joseph Lague is now seeking leniency from a Manitoba judge, saying he should do no further jail time because of a number of health issues that include cancer and diabetes.

Lague, 50, appeared in court Wednesday after previously pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. The resident of Dent, Minn., was arrested at the Emerson border crossing in September 2009 and has spent nearly four months in pretrial custody.

Defence lawyer Sheldon Pinx has asked for time served, while the Crown is seeking one year behind bars. Sentencing arguments are expected to continue Friday.

Lague, who is married with children and grandchildren, was placed on Minnesota's registered sex-offender list after being convicted in 2004 for misdemeanour sexual assault against a woman. He was given 30 days in jail, an 11-month suspended sentence and two years' probation.

Border officials searched his laptop after he was denied entry to Canada based on his criminal record and found 32 pictures and 12 movies of boys as young as eight being sexually abused by adults.

Pinx told court Wednesday his client appeared to have his life back on track following his earlier conviction only to fall victim to a lifelong battle with the bottle.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 17, 2013 A4

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