Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Daycare operater sentenced to conditional sentence for child pornography
A former daycare operator arrested for accessing child pornography has been sentenced to six months house arrest.
Marc Balez, 38, was arrested in September 2005 following an investigation by city police and the Integrated Child Exploitation (ICE) unit.
At the time of his arrest, Balez and his wife operated the Charleswood Children’s Centre on Roblin Boulevard. The daycare centre has since closed.
Crown attorney Mick Makar and defence lawyer Ryan Amy jointly recommended Balez be allowed to serve a conditional sentence.
Balez’s arrest pre-dated changes to the law requiring mandatory jail sentences for child pornography offences.
Makar said Balez has already spent nearly five blemish-free years under very restrictive bail conditions.
Police executed a search warrant at Balez’s home on Aug. 30, 2005, and seized computer discs containing nearly 600 images of child pornography and two movies.
Police seized a laptop computer at the daycare but it did not contain any pornography. Makar said “wiping software” had been used on both computers, eliminating evidence of recent activity.
Court heard Balez used a “search bot” program to automatically download pornography according to his customized preferences.
“Mr. Balez cast the net and the net came back with inappropriate images,” Amy said.
Judge Wanda Garreck ordered Balez, during the period of his conditional sentence, not possess pornography or access the Internet.
Garreck also ordered his name be included on the national sex offender registry for 10 years.
I completely agree with a conditional sentence for this man as opposed to prison. I don't think there would be any reason to hold him in prison as he is not a danger to society and therefore, does not need to be incapacitated. The article does not mention that this man has any prior record or any other mitigating factors, which makes a conditional sentence even more appropriate.