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Sudbury judge reluctantly sentences child predator to three years | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey | #hacking | #aihp


Ontario Court Justice Leonard Kim thought the sentence should be longer

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A Sudbury judge has reluctantly agreed to send a man who used Snapchat to lure and sexually abuse a girl to the pen for three years.

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Ontario Court Justice Leonard Kim thought the sentence for Jesse Hammer should be longer – much longer.

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“I am unsatisfied with the (proposed) three years,” Kim told the court. “I would even go as far to say it is unfit in a general sense. (But) my extensive inquiries for the (Crown and defence) lawyers satisfied me there is enough here for the sentence.”

Kim, though, suggested the sentence should be six or seven years.

The Crown and defence Robert Beckett in November had proposed that Hammer receive a three-year sentence for the sex crimes and for unrelated domestic violence charges.

Kim, however, delayed a decision, saying the Supreme Court of Canada had determined that adults convicted of sexual offences involving children should receive harsher penalties.

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He then gave the lawyers time to prepare arguments to justify the three-year sentence.

Assistant Crown attorney Alyssa Caverson told Kim there were about half a dozen reasons why he should accept the three-year sentence suggested by the Crown and defence. They included:

– the frail mental health of the victim;

– the case has been delayed due to COVID-19 (the matter was now 23 months old, she noted, and if it went to trial, it would have grown to 30 months and counting);

– the family of the victim agreed with the three-year sentence;

– Beckett was looking to wind down his practice and retire; and

– another judge had agreed with the proposed three-year sentence in a judicial pre-trial of the case.

Kim said that while the Crown had a strong case on the sexual interference charge, had it gone to trial, it would not have been so easy proving the luring charge because the victim would have had a difficult time testifying.

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“Certainty matters,” said the judge. “Trials are risky and a conviction would not have been guaranteed even after a trial in Superior Court, which would have taken place next year, given the delays.”

In addition to jail, Kim ordered that Hammer be listed on the national sex offenders’ registry for life and issued a 20-year community supervision order that includes such conditions as Hammer staing from places where children might be, like schools and playgrounds.

Hammer was also told to stay away from the girl and to not be in a job or position of authority involving children.

Finally, Kim banned Hammer from using social media, ordered him to provide a DNA order and imposed a 10-year weapons ban.

Charges separated

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At the same time, the judge ordered Hammer to deal with domestic violence charges separately from the sex charges, even though the lawyers had proposed a three-year sentence in total for both cases

As a result, Hammer will appear in video remand court on March 28 to set a date for possible resolution of those three charges. Hammer will also have to line up a new lawyer to assist him since Beckett is retiring.

Kim struck Hammer’s pleas on three domestic violence-related offences, saying it would put the victim at a disadvantage since she would not be able to recover the damage he caused to her cellphone and Google Home Hub.

He said that due to the tougher approach now being taken in the courts with domestic violence, those charges should be dealt with separately.

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“It’s not appropriate to speak about concurrent time to an already low sentence,” concluded the judge. “And there’s a need to recognize a different result for this spousal violence.”

On June 23 of last year, Hammer pleaded guilty to touching a female minor for a sexual purpose (with his mouth, also known as sexual interference) and communicate with a person under 16 (luring) concerning incidents that occurred on March 15 and 16, 2022, respectively.

He also pleaded guilty to three domestic violence-related charges: mischief under $5,000 for damaging his then girlfriend’s Google Home Hub in 2021; making a threat to cause death to the same woman on Feb. 11, 2022; and mischief under $5,000 for damaging the woman’s cellphone on Feb. 12, 2022.

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His case was then delayed for a number of reasons.

Hammer, 30, read from a short statement before he expected to be sentenced back in November.

“I would like to say I apologize to the court and the victims and the lives I have impacted,” he said. “I do understand the enormity of the charges. I am remorseful and want to take steps to be a better person.”

Hammer also said he was willing to take any counselling given to him while serving his sentence.

Statements of fact

In the agreed statement of facts, the court heard that about 10 p.m. on March 15, 2022, Hammer made a friend request to a female child through the Snapchat App and the girl accepted.

The girl said she was 12, but was only 11. Hammer indicated he was 29 and invited her to his residence on Cedar Street.

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Hammer paid for a taxi to bring the girl to his home about 3 a.m. on March 16. He provided the child with a marijuana vape, which left her feeling intoxicated.

They then went to a bedroom. He removed her clothing and performed oral and manual sex on her. The girl performed oral sex on Hammer.

The child told Hammer she did not want regular sex and fell asleep.

When the child awoke, she used the marijuana vape again and left.

When the child’s family located her, she was brought to the hospital for examination. Semen was detected on the girl’s underwear and body. Its DNA matched Hammer’s.

With the other agreed statement of facts, the court heard that Hammer and a woman had been in a relationship for about one year as of February 2022.

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About 8 p.m. Feb. 12, 2022, Greater Sudbury Police were contacted by a female caller who said she could see two men and a woman in a second-storey apartment on Cedar Street. One of the men was in a heated argument with the woman.

Officers located the apartment and talked to Hammer’s girlfriend. She said they had gotten into an argument over Facebook and he smashed her cellphone worth about $900.

When the girlfriend gave a full statement to police about what happened, she said that sometime in 2021, she and Hammer got into an argument at his apartment and he smashed her Google Home Hub worth about $145.

The girlfriend also said that on Feb. 20, 2022, she and Hammer had been arguing in text messages. He sent a message that said, “I swear, one of these days, I’m going to murder you.”

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In her sentencing submission, Caverson said it’s no co-incidence that child predators used Snapchat due to messages being erased shortly after being viewed.

She said others thinking of doing the same thing have to know that a serious jail term will result.

“A jail sentence in the penitentiary makes sense in this case,” she said. “The victim is happy with the result, despite it being on the low end of the regime … It ends up in real jail – the penitentiary.”

Beckett, in his sentencing address, said “my client is going from zero to the penitentiary” and that Hammer’s pleas saved the young girl from having to testify in court and relive the incident.

“Does he have a full insight into everything?” asked Beckett. “Probably not. But that will come. He has (also) hurt himself and his family.”

hcarmichael@postmedia.com

X: @HaroldCarmichae

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