Marcus John Paquette was convicted of possessing child pornography in May 2018. (Black Press Media files)

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

A Terrace man convicted of possessing child pornography has lost his appeal after a judge didn’t buy his argument that someone else could have downloaded the graphic photos onto his iPhone.

Marcus John Paquette – a father, avid hunter, and registered forest technologist – was charged with one count of possession of child porn in July 2016 after the social media platform Tumblr advised the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a user was uploading pornographic images to its site, according to court documents published on Tuesday.

The Vancouver Police Department was able to track the IP address of the uploaded photos to Paquette’s home, where local RCMP conducted a search warrant and found his iPhone 3GS in a cupboard. A desktop computer, iPad, laptop and second iPhone were seized as well.

Police ran two different software programs to unlock the contents of the seized technology. They found “several hundred” images and videos of child porn that were downloaded between November 2015 to July 2016. They also found a folder containing internet addresses with “child pornography‑related terms” on the iPhone 3GS, which was backed up to his laptop.

ALSO READ: Squamish firefighter charged with possession, distribution of child pornography

Paquette, now aged 57 or 58, was found guilty in May 2017. He was sentenced to one year behind bars and ordered to be placed on the National Sex Offender Registry.

Earlier this month, he argued at the B.C. Court of Appeal that someone else could have downloaded the photos, even though his phone had a passcode lock, and that the trial judge, Justice Robert Punnett, didn’t adequately take this into consideration.

The photos were stored on an app called iZip, which is used to open .zip files. That app was downloaded using Paquette’s email address and password connected to his Apple Store ID, according to an expert Crown witness.

At the initial trial, Paquette’s ex-wife said she had used the phone when she travelled to Peru in January 2016, and that their young daughter used it to play games and watch movies before the trip. She denied ever having seen the child porn and said she did not downloaded it nor see her husband looking at it.

The court also heard that two Facebook users had attempted to log in to the app on Paquette’s phone.

“I find it highly improbable that a person would have the inclination and opportunity to download a large volume of child pornography onto a password‑protected iPhone which they did not own and likely would not have regular access to and to store that material in a manner in which it was readily accessible to the owner of that iPhone,” Punnett wrote in his decision.

He also determined Paquette must have known the iZip files existed, because the app was organized on his iPhone screen so that it was next to an app called BuckHunter, which was likely used frequently given Paquette’s interest in hunting.

On Nov. 12, Justice Barbara Fisher of the appeals court agreed with Punnett and rejected Paquette’s bid.

“In my view, the trial judge did not misapprehend the evidence, drew inferences of fact that were available to him on the evidence, and did not reverse the burden of proof,” Fisher wrote.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Pilot project thins out overgrown forest location

Immediate and long term logging and environmental benefits eyed

Gitga’at and LNG Canada announce new Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility in Hartley Bay

LNG Canada providing financial support as committed in 2014 Impact Mitigation and Benefit Agreement

Chevron’s move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Most Read