Sask. Appeal Court increases sentence for child pornographer Philip Chicoine

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal increased Philip Chicoine’s child pornography sentence to 15 years in prison. File / Global News

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The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has increased the penalty for Philip Michael Chicoine, who was already serving the longest sentence for child pornography in the province’s history.

In November 2017, Judge Vanessa Monar Enweani sentenced the Saskatoon man to 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to 40 sexual offences committed against children.

Chicoine spent more than $20,000 arranging for the live-streaming of child sexual abuse from Romania and the Philippines. He had more than 10,000 pictures and videos of child sexual abuse. The crimes spanned six years, and court heard it’s impossible to know how many children were victimized by his actions.

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Cpl. Jared Clarke, an experienced member of the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit, called Chicoine’s collection the worst he’d ever seen.

In a decision released Wednesday, the Appeal Court increased Chicoine’s sentence by three years to 15 years in prison with credit for time he spent on remand.

The Crown argued the original sentence was unfit, and “not proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of (Chicoine).”

At the time, court heard how Chicoine’s actions didn’t include “hands-on” offending. However, because he directed live-streamed sexual assaults, the higher court disagreed.

“He was present in real-time and directed and orchestrated the assaults,” reads the appeal decision.

“Advances in technology give new meaning to that concept and courts must adjust to that changing reality.”

The Crown also sought a lifetime ban on Chicoine’s Internet use instead of the 10-year ban he received. The Appeal Court stated the sentencing judge’s considerations were “appropriate and relevant,” and upheld the 10-year ban.

Chicoine will be “well into his 50s before the order expires,” the decision notes.

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During sentencing, court heard how Chicoine came from a loving and supportive family. As a child, he was often picked on. He lived with a learning disability and struggled in school.

The sentencing judge found Chicoine was remorseful. He also cooperated with the police investigation and stated he was open to sex offender treatment.

A pre-sentence report placed him in the “moderate to high-risk category for re-offending in a sexual manner.”

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