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Kyle Brown will be sentenced next month for sending explicit texts to a police investigator posing as a child
It was a police officer and not a child on the receiving end of Kyle Brown’s text messages, but the court shouldn’t forget that Brown believed he was chatting with a 15-year-old when he sent personal details, a photo of his penis and discussed payment for sexual acts, the Crown argued Monday.
Prosecutor Erin Matthews has argued for a 12-month jail sentence for Brown, 31, who was convicted earlier this year of three charges of child luring for the week-long conversation he had in 2017 with a “girl” who was actually a male RNC officer.
Brown had responded to an ad on a local adult classified site. “New to the scene,” the ad read. “Teen girl involved in dance and cheer, long legs, lean body, can’t host.” The ad included a selfie of a female from the lips down, wearing a bra and panties.
Ten people replied to the ad. Five of them said they weren’t interested after the person told them she was 15 years old. Brown told her if she looked like the photo, he was “absolutely into” her.
Minutes later, Brown initiated a discussion about sexual acts, inquiring about prices. Over the following days, he exchanged sexually explicit messages and at least one photo with the teenager, speaking about payment for sexual acts and the possibility of meeting in person. She mentioned her young age multiple times and he said he was cool with it.
Upon receiving a phone call from RNC Const. Terry Follett, the investigator behind the covert online operation, Brown promptly turned himself in for questioning and was subsequently arrested.
At trial, Brown testified he had known all along the person with whom he had been chatting wasn’t really a 15-year-old girl and he had been trying to investigate the scam so he could expose it. That was an explanation Brown had not given police, Judge Colin Flynn noted when he convicted Brown last January, and in any case, it wasn’t believable.
Brown’s lawyer, Derek Hogan, had argued the police investigation was entrapment, but Flynn rejected that notion as well.
The Crown elected to proceed by indictment, meaning Brown’s convictions carry a minimum 12-month jail sentence. Hogan submitted Monday that the facts of the case don’t meet the precedent for that minimum.
“In our view, the fact that there was no actual victim here is a relevant factor,” Hogan told the judge.
Matthews argued that the victimization of a child would have been an aggravating factor in the case, but the fact that there was none should not be considered mitigating, given the seriousness of the crime.
“A 12-month mandatory minimum would not shock the consciousness of the Canadian public given the severity of these types of offences,” she said. “In this circumstance, luckily it was Const. Follet that was involved. However, the fact cannot be taken away that the court has found that Mr. Brown thought he was interacting with a 15-year-old child. There must be significant denunciation and deterrence for other individuals who engage in this type of conduct.”