Man gets 18 months for luring a minor

COLIN MACLEAN colin.maclean @JournalPEI



SaltWire Network

Prince County

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – A Summerside man has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for luring a minor. Brandon Curtis Rogers, 24, pleaded guilty to the charge on Feb. 2 and was sentenced at the Summerside Law Courts on April 4. The charge was brought against Rogers after it was discovered he had been exchanging sexual Snapchat messages on the social media app with a then 14-year-oldgirl. He was 20 when the messages started. The length of the sentence was a joint recommendation between the Crown and Rogers' lawyer. Judge Krista MacKay concurred that it was an appropriate jail term, though not one that is common here yet for this kind of charge. The joint recommendation and MacKay's own comments suggested Rogers' sentence was going to be longer than many of those previously imposed in P.E.I. for similar charges. All referred to the landmark R v Friesen Supreme Court of Canada ruling of 2020, which concluded that jail terms for sexual crimes involving children should be increased to reflect society's greater understanding of the long-term harm these crimes have on victims. “Previously you might not have seen a sentence of 18 months in jail,” noted MacKay. “Having these types of communications with children is now going to result in harsher penalties than previous to these cases (like R v Friesen) and the changes in the legislation that increased the maximum sentence for these types of offences. “The reason for that is because we're dealing with the impact, on children, of child abuse – and this is essentially child abuse,” she added. According to the agreed statement of facts presented in court, Rogers and the victim met in early 2019 and started exchanging messages that turned sexual. He initially believed her to be 16, but she eventually told him she was 14. The victim read her own impact statement to the court, in which she described the severe long-term impact this situation has had on her physical and mental health – including being blamed and disowned by part of her family because of it. “They kicked me out and told me if I wanted to partake in adult activities, I'd have to accept the adult consequences,” she said. “I was constantly blamed for these events and told I owed the world an apology.” Rogers also addressed the court and expressed deep regret for his behaviour. “I am very well ready to accept the consequences for the actions that I've done. I'm willing to go through anything to get help, to learn why I may have done the things I have,” he said. Judge MacKay reiterated her hope that stronger prison terms for crimes like this will help drive home the message that these kinds of exchanges between minors and adults are unacceptable to society and will be dealt with accordingly. “A 14-year-old girl is a child. That's what I think people are not understanding here – Mr. Rogers you are not the first person in his early 20s to come before me having this type of interaction with a young teenager; and it's concerning to me that adults are not understanding that a 14-yearold girl is a child,” she said. “I think a period of 18 months in custody is not contrary to the public interest. “It does send a significant message to other offenders of like-mind that the court won't tolerate these kinds of incidents with children any longer.” In addition to the jail time, Rogers will remain on probation for three years after his release. In addition to other restrictions, during that time he is not allowed to have contact with anyone under the age of 16, unless they are his child or if there is an adult present who is aware of his conviction on this matter. He must also stay away from the victim and anywhere she frequents, such as her places of work or education.