A former high-ranking leader with the B.C. Dragoons, of the Department of National Defence’s (DND) 39th Canadian Brigade Group, based in Kelowna has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.
Sean David Parker served two missions as a reservist with the Canadian military in Afghanistan and was elevated to Regimental Sergeant Major of the Dragoons in 2012, becoming the highest ranking non-commission member of the unit.
“Obviously this is a disturbing situation,” DND Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Doug MacNair told Global News. “It’s not conduct we would expect from the member of the Canadian military particularly those that rise to a high rank.”
Parker was set for a three day trial on three charges (accessing, importing and possession of child pornography) in B.C. Provincial Court in Kelowna on Monday but instead pleaded guilty to one count of possession, 163.1(4) of the Canadian Criminal Code, according to B.C. Crown Counsel spokesperson Dan McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said the evidence in the case was collected between Dec. 18, 2017 and Aug. 6, 2018. Parker was officially charged in November of 2018.
The 52-year-old was working for the City of Kelowna as the Emergency Services Manager at Kelowna International Airport in recent years.
Parker’s security clearance was suspended in November of 2018, according to Kelowna spokesperson Tom Wilson, who said Parker is no longer employed at YLW or with the City.
The DND stated Parker was released that same month, but would not offer further details of why he left the military because it “can’t share them due to privacy reasons.”
As the Crown is proceeding on indictment, the charge of possession of child pornography requires a minimum sentence of one year in jail and not more than 10 years in prison.
A pre-sentence report has been ordered and Parker is set to return to court Jan. 23.
The DND’s Lt. Col. MacNair was looking into any further followups by the military police considering Parker was Sergeant Major at the time of the offence.