Sudbury man didn't seem to fully appreciate child porn is wrong

A Sudbury man who pled guilty in a child pornography case will spend two years at a treatment facility as part of his sentence.

On Friday, 29-year-old Kodie O'Malley pled guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice to accessing child pornography on Nov. 29, 2020, and possession of child pornography on Dec. 9, 2020.

He originally entered a guilty plea to the court via Zoom in front of a different judge on Dec. 15, 2022. That plea was struck and re-entered before Justice Lawrence Klein, during his sentencing March 10.

O'Malley has been sentenced to incarceration for two years less a day, with the recommendation that it be served at the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional & Treatment Centre in Brockville.

The sentence also includes:

- three years of probation;

- a 10-year Section 161 Order, which prohibits activities that may include contact with children under age 16; and

- a lifetime SOIRA order, to register under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act.

He will also be required to submit DNA samples and forfeit his devices.

While defence lawyer Glenn Sandberg and Crown attorney Grace Alcaide Janicas presented an agreed statement of facts to the judge, the contents of that report, as well as the pre-sentencing report, were not read aloud in court.

O'Malley was charged on Feb. 18, 2021, by members of the Greater Sudbury Police Service Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit, assisted by Emergency response and Intelligence units, after a search warrant was executed at a residence in the city.

He originally faced 25 child pornography-related charges, including 10 for accessing, 11 for possession, and four for distribution.

According to Janicas, there were a number of aggravating factors in the case, including the explicit nature of the content that portrayed the sexual abuse of children, the number of images and videos recovered, and the extended period of time over which the materials were accessed.

She said he also seemed unaware of his reason for committing the crimes and did not fully understand what he did wrong, despite accepting responsibility for his actions.

Still, both Janicas and Sandberg agreed that the facts, combined with several mitigating factors, made a period of incarceration in a treatment facility appropriate under the circumstances.

"He has no prior record and he entered a guilty plea," she said. "He has also been upfront throughout the investigation and has been putting in the work to address these issues. The court can be confident in the recommendation to focus on rehabilitation and the sentence will focus on that."

In his brief address to the court, O'Malley expressed his regret.

"I'm sorry for my actions," he said. "I'm going to work to get better."

Sandberg, his defence lawyer, said he was a good candidate for the treatment programs provided by the facility.

"He has been forthcoming and remorseful with police throughout the investigation," said Sandberg. "He is not sure why he committed these crimes, but he accepts responsibility for them. We hope he can come out of the other side of this much better. He's been very pro-active with seeing a psychotherapist."

Sandberg said O'Malley has faced a number of challenges in life. Currently, however, he acts as a caregiver for his younger brother who has mental health issues and with whom he has a positive relationship. His his relationship with his father has recently improved.

In addition, O'Malley been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and has recovered from previous substance use issues.

Following his sentence, Sandberg said his client intends to serve out his sentence and pursue studies in civil engineering.

For Justice Klein, O'Malley's lack of understanding of the circumstances that brought him before the court was his primary concern.

"I hope that if you get into this program, you will get a better understanding of what you did, and why you did what you did," he said. "I denounce your behaviour. As a society, our primary goal is the protection of children. When someone breaks that basic rule, that needs to be denounced."

The two-year sentence is light for a case of this nature, said Klein, who said seven years is a common incarceration period in most cases.

But, he said O'Malley had a number of psychological and emotional needs that must be addressed, which was why he supported the lawyers' position regarding the focus on rehabilitation.

"You are the only person who can change your path," said Klein. "We can assist you and provide you with tools. But if you want to be around to help you brother, you need to accomplish this goal yourself."

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

Twitter: @mia_rjensen

Mia Jensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star