A City of Greater Sudbury employee who pleaded guilty to making, possessing and sharing child sexual abuse material (child pornography) was sentenced in a Sudbury courtroom Dec. 4 to five years in prison.
James ‘Jamie’ Edward Doucette, 45, pleaded guilty in June to four charges: making child sexual abuse material in 2006; accessing and sharing child sexual abuse material in 2021, and; possession of a restricted rifle magazine.
In court today, Crown Attorney Trent Wilson and Defence Attorney Robert Beckett entered a joint submission of five years to Justice Patrick Boucher.
As of 2020, Doucette was listed under the Ontario public sector salary disclosure list as being employed by the City of Greater Sudbury as an advanced care paramedic.
Originally charged with more than a dozen offences, including sexual assault charges, after he pleaded guilty to four above charges, the other charges were removed.
Doucette has been in jail since August of 2021. With the enhanced day count of time served, The 833 real days Doucette served prior to his conviction equal 1,250 enhanced days of time served, due to conditions of the jail and the length of the pandemic, Doucette will serve an additional 575 days in federal corrections on the child pornography charges. He will serve 60 days for the firearms charges, to be served concurrently.
The sentence was a consideration of mitigating and aggravating circumstances, said Boucher.
“The mitigating factors in your case are obvious, they stand out and they include your early responsibility, as soon as you are arrested, and your co-operation with the police,” said Boucher. “The fact that you have no prior criminal record, and that you pleaded guilty in the era of post-COVID scheduling of our courts is significant,” said Boucher, noting the court is dealing with a backlog. “And considering your personal circumstances as set out in the pre-sentence report set up by your lawyer, you've been diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder and anxious distress from work as a paramedic.”
The aggravating factors were stated simply.
Justice Boucher stated these factors, the details of which are largely sealed or under publication order, relate to the “size and nature of the collection,” of child sexual abuse material, which he said was “very aggravating.”
The Crown called it a “large and significant collection” that contained 5,188 accessible photos and 182 accessible videos.
“Despite your signs and strong hope for rehab, and despite the efforts you've taken, the five years is, once again, for the size and nature of the collection.”
The devices he once possessed that contained the child sexual abuse materials are under forfeiture order and will be destroyed.
When it was his turn to address the court, Doucette read from a letter he had written to his brother while in custody. He wept as he spoke.
“I know that you are angry and hurt and you have every right to be but you must believe me that no one is more angry or upset than I am at myself,” he began.
“I'm sorry for any pain that I have caused you, I'm sorry for any pain I have caused others. I'm sorry for what I have done. I cannot make an excuse for what I did, it was wrong. I know it now and I knew it then.”
He said there were “multiple parts of the story” and that he thought the best he could explain in the letter was to “give you some insight into my own personal experiences.”
Doucette said he was abused as a teen, and struggled for many years.
“After that, I had trouble with the opposite sex. I was shy and reclusive. I didn't handle rejection normally, it was hard. Even though I said, even though I say that I do look back at my high school years as my fonder years. We moved around a lot. That was hard for me.”
He also stated that as a medic, he was faced with traumatic experiences.
“After these experiences, I was, for lack of a better word, broken,” said Doucette. "I wanted to escape and my escape was remembering better times in high school, and I started looking at things that I shouldn't.
“The truth is I still have trouble understanding myself. I've been proactive in my journey of actively seeing addiction and mental health counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists, and actively trying to make things right for myself. I want to make things right with you, too.”
In addition to the five-year sentence, Doucette was imposed several conditions, including a requirement to send DNA to the national databank and a firearms ban for the next 10 years. Doucette must register with the National Sex Offender Registry and is under a wide-ranging restriction on direct and indirect contact with anyone under the age of 16 (including the places they are known to frequent, such as parks, daycares, schools).
He is not allowed to undertake work, either paid or volunteer, that would put him in a position of “trust or authority” over anyone under 16, and Doucette must follow wide-ranging and detailed internet and digital network rules for the next 20 years, with a focus on the restriction on using public-use computers or any software that may hide or encrypt data.
Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with Sudbury.com