News Provincial

Civil servant sentenced after turning to child porn, pot to deaden emotions

By Andrew Duffy, Postmedia Network

Ottawa Court House. JEAN LEVAC / OTTAWA CITIZEN

Ottawa Court House. JEAN LEVAC / OTTAWA CITIZEN

An Ottawa civil servant who says he used marijuana and child pornography to build “a morbid detachment” from reality has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Mahlon Inksetter, 51, an information technology specialist at the Canada Revenue Agency, had more than 133,000 images and 3,000 videos on his computer that qualified as child pornography.

Justice Peter Doody said the collection was large and well-organized, and stored in hundreds of carefully labeled folders, some of which were available for sharing online.

The judge said the material contained images that were at “the extreme end of the spectrum” of child pornography.

“The images and videos showed the most vile and depraved imagery imaginable of children — mostly girls — ranging in age from one to 16 engaged in explicit sexual activity,” Doody wrote in a recently issued sentencing decision.

Crown attorney Kerry McVey had asked for a four-and-a-half year prison sentence in the case, but Doody said there were mitigating factors that had to be taken into account.

Court head that Inksetter, a Lakehead University graduate, had no criminal record when he was arrested in April 2016 as part of a sweeping police probe into child porn. The investigation, which involved the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ottawa Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, netted 80 suspects across the province.

After his arrest, Inksetter pursued personal counselling, and agreed to be assessed by Dr. Jonathan Gray, a forensic psychiatrist at the Sexual Disorders Clinic at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

He told the psychiatrist that he began to view pornography in the aftermath of a relationship that collapsed when his girlfriend developed schizophrenia. She ended up on the street, he said, and often required his help. Inksetter said he turned to pot and pornography as an escape since it made him feel “emotionally dead.”

But bored with conventional pornography, he began to explore violent images — some involving torture and beheadings — and child pornography about two years ago. Combined with his $1,000-a-month marijuana habit, Inksetter said, the horrific images gave him “a morbid detachment” from reality.

“I was punishing myself,” he told Dr. Gray.

Inksetter also consented to phallometric testing to assess whether he was sexually aroused in response to images of pre-pubescent boys and girls.

Dr. Gray reported that Inksetter did not respond physically during the test, and he concluded that Inksetter is likely not a pedophile. What’s more, Dr. Gray said that Inksetter’s explanation for his behaviour — that he wanted to blunt his emotions by exposing himself to sexual horrors while heavily stoned — had “an air of reality.”

Earlier this year, Inksetter pleaded guilty to one count each of possessing and making available child pornography.

At his sentencing hearing, Inksetter said there was no excuse for his behaviour and he apologized to those children whom he had watched being abused.

In handing Insketter a two-years-less-a-day sentence, the judge described his remorse as genuine and accepted the shared opinion of two psychiatrists who said the civil servant was at low risk to re-offend.

Doody also imposed a three-year probation term during which the Ottawa police will have the right to search any of Inksetter’s electronic devices for child porn.

Defence lawyer Paolo Giancaterino, who had asked for a one-year sentence, told court that Inksetter expects to lose his government job.