The Hamilton Spectator
Saturday, January 17, 1998
page A3

Judge bans man from Internet in child pornography case

by Christine Cox

A man who had child pornography in his computer risks going to jail if he's caught using the Internet during the next eight months.

Justice John Cavarzan yesterday banned Maurice Sheresky, 35, from having any access to the Internet or any service enabling him to communicate with others through his computer.

It's a provision of the eight-month conditional sentence he received for possession of child pornography, downloaded from the Internet.

Conditional Sentence

A conditional sentence is served in the community.

If Sheresky breaks any of the conditions, he could end up serving the remainder of his sentence in custody.

The Ontario Court (general division) judge also ordered Sheresky, a part-time truck driver, to perform 80 hours of community service.

Sheresky's legal problems began when he left his computer at Dynamic Computers Inc. for repair and invited technicians to view some "good stuff" stored in his machine, which had three hard drives.

While one of the technicians was scanning for viruses, he found suggestively-named files containing pictures of naked children.

Police were called, and a detective found thousands of images depicting nudism, bestiality, and sexual acts.

In his opinion, 59 of the images met the definition of child pornography. Some photographs showed girls who appeared to be about 10 to 14 years old, engaged in sexual acts with adults males.

Defence counsel Stephen Bernstein urged probation for Sheresky, and a conditional sentence as an alternative. He said his client, who is separated from his wife, has a young son whom he sees regularly.

Bernstein emphasized that Sheresky had nothing to do with the production or distribution of child pornography, and had merely downloaded it on to his computer.

"It's one of the least serious type scenarios, in that he has actively done very little to obtain this material ... he is no risk to the community."

But assistant Crown attorney Denis Allan referred to the "wealth of pornography" Sheresky had, and sought a jail term of at least six months.

'Exploitation of children'

"This case before us involves the exploitation of children", Allan pointed out, referring to the youngsters in the pictures.

"If there were not people like himself who wanted to view these images ... these children would not be photographed."

The judge decided a conditional sentence would adequately satisfy the need for general deterrence and denunciation.

"It will permit Mr. Sheresky, who is otherwise a law-abiding citizen, to continue with his employment, and will promote his rehabilitation."

The judge ordered that Sheresky's computer be returned to him, but without the hard drives, or any other component on which child pornography was stored.

Copyright © 1998 by The Hamilton Spectator. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.