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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Regulatory vs advisory road signs

The regulatory sign must be obeyed exactly as it is read.

Alistair MacGregor column: Responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic

This crisis has shown us just how many Canadians struggle every day to pay the bills

Second vehicle from Crofton Geo-Tech theft recovered

Supervisor at Crofton operation finds it parked at Chemainus campground

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

Most Read