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Clay Meron gets five years for uploading image of child pornography

Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island
Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island

A P.E.I. man who was on his fourth conviction related to child pornography was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison.

Clay James Meron, 48, appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown where she sentenced him for distributing child pornography.

Before sentencing Meron, Orr talked about the difficulty of a judge having to look at child pornography.

“Those images are haunting,” she said.

Meron pleaded guilty to uploading an image of child pornography to a website called ChatStep where he went by the name “uberperv.”

ChatStep contacted authorities about the image and the police determined it came from Meron’s mother’s address, which was where he lived at the time.

Meron initially denied uploading child pornography, but a search of devices in the home found 11 images.

The police seized 19 devices that were encrypted and for which Meron refused to give passwords.

Meron also had a phone with more than 80 images of young girls that were not child pornography, but were taken outdoors in the Cornwall and Meadowbank area.

RELATED: Sentencing on Clay James Meron's fourth child porn charge adjourned

As he listened to Orr’s decision, Meron sat alone at the defence table with his hands folded in his lap and his legs crossed.

He was alone because he fired his lawyer at the start of the day’s proceedings, saying he didn’t feel he had been adequately represented as to the whole facts of the case.

Orr said distribution of child pornography is such a serious matter because it puts the images out there to continue the harm.

Although Orr said the images in Meron’s case weren’t in the higher end of “depravity,” she did talk about the worst child pornography where victims have a “hollow look as if they’re just a shell.”

Orr said denunciation and deterrence were the primary considerations in Meron’s case because he had gone through programming and still ended up back before the court.

Before hearing his sentence, Meron addressed the court and said he spent hundreds of hours researching child pornography, including watching victim testimony.

During his comments, Meron said he started reporting what he saw on the internet related to child pornography and decided he needed to be on the “right side” of efforts to combat it.

Meron said before his arrest he started a journey of self discovery and he referred to time spent sharing information with his loyal followers on social media.  

He apologized to anyone his actions affected and he addressed references made to his prior record.

“Clearly I’m not the same person now, thankfully,” he said.

Meron also made comments that his research started crossing into the subject of satanic ritual abuse and human organ harvesting.

Once he is released from prison, Meron will be on the national sex offender registry for life and will have other restrictions, including no communication with anyone under 16 unless he is supervised.

Orr ordered the forfeiture of numerous hard drives, cellphones, USB drives, computers and CDs the police seized.

 

Ryan.ross@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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