Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Woman in Phillipines helps investigation into Manitoba sex offender

A concerned woman in the Philippines was the key to bringing a Manitoba sex offender to justice.
Bruce Nelson pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of child pornography and indecent exposure in an unusual case that began overseas. He was given eight months of time served in custody and three years of supervised probation under a joint recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers.
Nelson, 48, admits he was sending explicit images of nude young children to strangers over the Internet from his home computer in Pinawa. He always claimed to be the father of the girls in the pictures, court was told.
In fact, Nelson had actually downloaded all of the pictures from the Internet and didn't know any of the children. One of the unwitting recipients was a Filipino woman who began asking Nelson questions about his background with hopes of building a case against him, including where he lived. She then went to child welfare authorities in her home country, who quickly forwarded the complaint to Canadian authorities.
Police traced the images to Nelson's computer and executed a search warrant in 2008. They found evidence of hundreds of similar online chats along with more than 1,000 graphic images and 88 movies involving child pornography. Nelson had no prior criminal record and was released on a promise to appear in court. But he was rearrested months later after exposing himself to two children, aged five and nine, that he approached on a gravel road in Pinawa. Nelson told the kids there was a baby deer down the road and invited them to come for a closer look. He then exposed himself. The children fled the area and immediately told a parent.
Nelson was quickly identified by his description and the car he was driving.
He was eventually released yet again on bail, then failed to report to police in January as required. He was arrested a third time and has been in custody since. A psychiatrist has deemed Nelson a low risk to reoffend but can't explain what motivated him to "go off the rails," court was told. Nelson is the father of two children, has been in a long-term relationship and worked full time at the same job for nearly 30 years.
Provincial court Judge Brian Corrin said he is concerned by an escalation in Nelson's criminal behaviour that saw him go from viewing images of child pornography to "getting gratification in a public place with small children."

I completely agree with the sentence of probation. This man is a low risk to re-offend and has no prior record. He has children, is in a long term relationship and has a full time job. He needs to support his family. Prison would only tear this family apart and likely have damaging effects on this man because he would be a low risk offender housed with high risk offenders. This has been proven to increase recidivism rates when offenders are released. This man should receive counseling, and learn management skills for his sexual impulses.

Under probation, I would recommend management of deviant impulses, relapse prevention programs and sex offender programs in the community. They cannot be cured, but they can be rehabilitated.

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