Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Man given suspended sentence in child porn case

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A Winnipeg man who got caught trying to bring child pornography into the United States ended up spending 30 months in a Los Angeles prison, threw away a promising career in the film industry and watched his marriage fall apart, court heard Wednesday.

Lyle Dick, 48, was back on home soil to deal with the Canadian end of the charges stemming from his December 2002 arrest at the James A. Richardson International Airport.

He was given a two-year suspended sentence with probation under a joint-recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers, largely because of the steep price he has already paid for his crime.

Dick had moved to Hollywood -- where he worked in the movie and rock show sound and light production industry -- but was frequently coming to Winnipeg to visit his dying father and new granddaughter.

He was flagged for a secondary search at the Winnipeg airport while attempting to board an airplane to return south following a visit.

U.S. customs officials found a laptop computer and 34 CDs which contained nearly 3,000 pictures and movies of child pornography, plus an additional 87,000 images of adult porn, court was told.

Dick -- who had no prior criminal record -- was arrested and detained in custody for several weeks in Winnipeg before he was granted bail and tried to return to his wife and children who were waiting for him in California.

The reunion was scuttled when Dick was immediately arrested -- U.S. justice officials had laid their own charges stemming from a search of his residence which revealed essentially the same pictures he was caught with at the airport.

Dick was held in custody for three months, then spent another 27 months behind bars after eventually pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. He was given no early release or parole and served "hard time" in an L.A. country jail, court heard Wednesday.

"I can only imagine what it was like to do time in that prison, where he would clearly have been one of the minorities," said defence lawyer Raymond Oakes.

Dick was then immediately deported and returned to Canada upon his release, where he still faced the outstanding charges.

Oakes said Wednesday his client began collecting sexual material of all kinds while spending upwards of 200 nights away from his family and alone in hotels while traveling for business.

"His computer was his constant companion. He developed a fascination out of boredom and loneliness which caused him to search out more and more shocking pornography as he became more jaded," said Oakes.

Dick lost his job and the many "lucrative" opportunities that came with it and watched as his wife left him following the arrest, he said. The couple has two daughters and a grandchild.

"It's inexplicable to me why you possessed this material," said provincial court Judge Linda Giesbrecht.

"I can't comprehend how a person who has daughters of their own ... could view that material without anything but utter disgust."

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2007 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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