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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

UPDATE: More details released on search for missing Vancouver Island hiker

Searchers scouring Strathcona Park near Gold River for experienced 65-year-old on 40-kilometre trek

Port Hardy Fire Rescue hosts hands-on training

In total, 22 firefighters took part in the training weekend.

Vancouver Island North’s tourism bursting back to life

The North Island was buzzing the first weekend of July after Phase 3 allowed in-province travel

North Island Elementary students published in short story collection

Five Fort Rupert Elementary students are now bonafide authors

MP asks Minister of Transport for review of safe crew levels on new ferries

The new ferries were approved to run with smaller crew sizes, raising safety concerns

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Surrey in rare position to redefine policing amid calls for defunding

The wheels were set in motion for the new police service in 2018

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read