In December 2017, Brendan Olynick was arrested at a Saskatoon hotel and charged with arranging to commit a sexual offence against a child. For three weeks, he’d been communicating with a person he’d met on Craigslist.
The person claimed to be the mother of an 11-year-old daughter, but in reality, it was an undercover officer with the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit.
They planned multiple in-person meetings. The final gathering was to be at a hotel, where he’d go water sliding with the mother and daughter, followed by a shower and sharing a king-sized bed.
“I regret posting that ad and everything that came along with it. That definitely wasn’t my intention,” Olynick said from the prisoner’s box during his sentencing hearing Friday.
In his March decision, Saskatoon provincial court judge Sanjeev Anand determined Olynick’s three planned meetings and ongoing communications with the undercover officer showed he intended to follow through with the plan. He rejected the idea that Olynick was participating in a “fantasy role play.”
Through their exchanges, Olynick stated he hoped he wasn’t “being set up,” Anand said, at one point asking if there would be a “camera crew waiting” at their arranged meeting.
On Friday, the judge sentenced Olynick to a 16-month term in jail. He received 150 days credit for time already spent on remand.
The 37-year-old also received three years’ probation, including 200 hours of community of community service. In addition to standard conditions, he must take sex offender programming and not use devices with internet capability except for employment.
Olynick is also barred from using social media or posting advertisements on platforms including Kijiji, Facebook and Craigslist.
Crown prosecutor Lana Morelli argued a 22-month sentence, describing Olynick’s communications as “planned and deliberate – not spur of the moment.”
Olynick also encouraged the mother to breach the trust of her daughter, which should be an aggravating factor during sentencing, Morelli said.
“His offence is egregious, but he doesn’t deserve to go to the penitentiary,” she said.
Defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle argued for the mandatory minimum of one year in prison.
Pfefferle presented the court with letters of support, which he said reflected the “out-of-character nature” of the offence. He said family describe Olynick as an animal lover who wouldn’t harm anyone.
Olynick’s communication with the ICE unit came at a “low point” following a difficult breakup, Pfefferle said.
Court also heard Olynick’s apology to his adoptive parents, who the defence described as loving.
“I just want to apologize to my parents for any pain I caused the family,” Olynick said.