A P.E.I. teen who used a photo of his former girlfriend performing a sex act as his profile picture was recently given one year of probation for distributing child pornography.
The teen, who appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in youth court and can’t be identified, also got a reminder in the permanence of the internet.
In sentencing the teen, Orr said it was a serious matter.
“Once you put something on the internet it’s there. You can’t get it back,” she said.
The court heard the teen and the victim, who was also a teenager, were previously in a relationship when he took a video of the two engaging in sexual activity.
He used a picture from the video as his profile photo on a video game system, which other people were able to see.
By the time the picture was taken down, it was too late and other people had already been able to access it.
Victim was humiliated
Crown attorney John Diamond said the victim was humiliated by what happened.
Defence lawyer Thane MacEachern told the court the teen deleted the video when the victim asked him to.
“The damage was done. He recognizes that,” MacEachern said.
Initially, the matter was going through alternative measures, which would have seen the teen end up with no criminal record if he met several conditions.
The Crown decided not to proceed with alternative measures after reviewing the file, and Orr said it was easy to see why it was terminated.
With the probation, the teen must undergo any assessment, counselling or treatment as directed, which could include issues related to consent and establishing healthy boundaries in a relationship.
The teen is banned from owning a phone that can access the internet and has video capabilities.
He can only use a computer under adult supervision and is banned from using social media.
The teen must also write an apology letter to the victim and he is banned from any contact with her unless he has his youth worker’s consent.