A Winnipeg man who livestreamed video of himself sexually assaulting his five-year-old stepdaughter has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.
"The offences in this case are heinous, devastating, and emotionally traumatizing, not only to the (victim) and her family but to the community at large," Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Joan McKelvey said Thursday.
"I recognize that the sentence imposed cannot be vengeful. However, it must reflect denunciation for the infliction of such gross misconduct on this young child, which will have lasting consequences… Her sentence may well be one for life."
The 30-year-old man, whose employment history included seven years working at a daycare centre, previously pleaded guilty to sexual interference and one count each of making, possessing and distributing child pornography.
McKelvey turned down a Crown request the man be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, who will require ongoing therapy. The judge said there was a lack of evidence before the court as to what therapies might be required and their cost.
"Additionally, the means of the offender are to be considered and, while there is no direct evidence of this accused’s financial circumstances, I suspect they are limited given the fact that he was unemployed prior to the commission of these offences and will be incarcerated for a significant period of time."
Between January and August 2017, the man — who cannot be named to avoid identifying the victim — repeatedly abused his young stepdaughter while her mother was away at work.
The man used a messaging app to join an online "club" dedicated to the sexual abuse of children. He went on to share several pictures, videos and a livestream of himself abusing and raping his stepdaughter. The man told other club members he put sleeping pills in the girl’s milk prior to abusing her.
"Indeed, he boasted on the various chat rooms that he had ready access to a child and, in essence, would take requests as to the type of abuse that might be inflicted upon her," McKelvey said. "The accused revelled in his status amongst those with similar predilections. This he did while the (victim) was drugged, blindfolded and threatened."
In August 2017, an investigation by Australian police led to an arrest of a club member in that country. The man told Australian police of the Winnipeg offender’s username and that he had bragged about regularly abusing his stepdaughter.
According to the Australian accused, the Winnipeg offender shared the most graphic material, becoming "top dog" in the eyes of club members.
The victim’s mother said she "wanted to die," when she learned what had happened to her daughter.
"How could I live after what my baby went through, all because I left her alone with this monster?" the woman wrote in a victim-impact statement previously provided to court. "She will live her life knowing her naked body, the sexual abuse she endured, will be watched every single day.
"She will be re-victimized every time somebody looks at these pictures and videos of her sexual abuse."
The man told the girl if anyone learned of the abuse, her mother would stop loving her, the woman wrote. The man also threatened to push the girl into a fire if she disclosed the abuse.
"My six-year-old, sweet innocent daughter thought her mommy didn’t love her anymore," the woman wrote. "This little girl who was once a social butterfly was now too terrified to have relationships with her peers because of the emotional torture she has had to endure."
McKelvey credited the man for time served, reducing his remaining sentence to just under 131/2 years.