A Terrace man’s conviction for possession of child pornography downloaded onto his phone and computer will stand, the B.C Court of Appeal said Nov. 12.
Marcus John Paquette was charged after the social networking site Tumblr advised the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children that a user was uploading child pornography to their website.
According to the allegations, Paquette downloaded the material on his iPhone and laptop computer between November 2015 and July 2016.
The Tumblr reports came to the attention of Terrace RCMP after Vancouver police, using the IP address provided by the centre, tracked the user to the appellant’s home and work addresses in Terrace.
The court decision said the pornography was located on the iPhone in an iZip application that allows users to access and manage compressed files.
“There were approximately 300 images and three videos in the zip files, all organized by theme,” the unanimous ruling of three judges said.
The only other person known to have used the iPhone was the appellant’s wife, Lizette Saravia, who used it on a trip to Peru in January 2016.
An expert witness said the phone’s user could not have downloaded the iZip app without entering their Apple ID password. The appeal court accepted that evidence.
The court said there was also evidence on the iPhone linking Paquette to Tumblr through notification emails and various email accounts in iterations of his name, as well as emails associated to him sent through a program called Hushmail.
Justice Barbara Fisher said the case was circumstantial, the only issue being whether or not Paquette knowingly had the material in his possession.
The trial judge had rejected Paquette’s submission that another individual could have downloaded the child pornography onto the password-protected phone.
Fisher said Supreme Court Justice Robert Punnett correctly drew inferences based on available evidence.
“I see no basis to interfere with his conclusion that the Crown had established the appellant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
It is not known what Paquette’s sentence was. The B.C. Supreme Court decision is not available online.