A precedent setting sentence was handed down to Philip Michael Chicoine, 28, in a Saskatoon courtroom on Tuesday.
Chicoine was sentenced to 12 years in prison, minus time he’s already served while on remand since his arrest in March.
Chicoine arranged and facilitated live-streamed child pornography with help from women in Philippines and Romania.
Judge Monar Enweani’s 30-page decision details Chicoine’s offences, including Chicoine paying adult offenders in Philippines and Romania to sexually abuse children, often directing them specifically what to do.
The live-streamed shows involved children between the ages of four and nine displaying their genitalia and engaging in oral sex, according to evidence presented and in accordance with Enweani’s decision.
Crown attorney Lana Morelli was seeking a 17-year sentence.
“Seventeen years wasn’t just a number that we came up with. It was representative of the horrors that these children had been put through,” Morelli said outside court.
Chicoine’s crimes were brought to light by the work of Saskatchewan’s internet child exploitation (ICE) unit.
Lead investigator Cpl. Jared Clarke attended Chicoine’s sentencing.
“The material in his collection was some of the worst stuff I’ve ever seen,” Clarke said.
“It caused nightmares and caused me to have trouble even dealing with my own kids at home.”
Suspects in Romania were arrested and charged during the investigation into Chicoine while the case in Philippines was ongoing until a break on Nov. 10.
Officials in Philippines conducted a raid resulting in the arrest of a woman in that country and the rescue of nine child victims between the ages of two and nine. Seven victims were girls, while two were boys.
“Whether this was a success or not, yeah, it’s a great success because we got nine kids in the Philippines that are in a lot better spot than what they were two weeks ago or two months ago,” Clarke said.
The investigation in that country continues thanks to information passed along to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the International Justice Mission (IJM).
“We still have other outstanding victims in the Philippines, there’s other outstanding suspects in the Philippines that the national police are still working on,” Clarke explained.
While Enweani’s decision notes a pre-sentence report including a risk assessment which places Chicoine as a moderate to high risk to re-offend sexually, Enweani said given Chicoine’s age, remorse and supportive family, he may be able to be rehabilitated.
Chicoine’s parents were in court as his sentence was handed down. Chicoine was expressionless throughout.
He was ordered to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for life. Chicoine will serve an additional 80 days on top of his sentence in substitution for an $8,000 victim surcharge.