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Supreme Court orders new trial in case of runaway teens in porn video

Top court rules that private-use defence cannot be used if it is determined that the girls were sexually exploited


 
Chris Wattie/Reuters

Chris Wattie/Reuters

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered a new trial in the case of two Edmonton men who made child pornography after videotaping two 14-year-old girls performing sex acts.

Donny Barabash and Shane Rollison were acquitted at their 2012 trial of making child pornography because the judge accepted that the so-called private-use exception was available to them as a defence.

The Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal and convicted the men, but it was not a unanimous decision, with one appeal court justice saying the private-use exception was available because the videos were consensual and for private use.

But the Supreme Court was unanimous in its ruling that the private-use defence cannot be used if it is determined that the girls were sexually exploited.

The high court ruled that the trial judge focused too much on the question of consent, and not the broader issue of whether the girls were exploited.

The two 14-year-old girls ran away from home, fell into prostitution, and abused crack cocaine and marijuana.


 

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