Wife's suspicions behind child porn conviction

 

Afraid he was cheating, Cornwall woman looked on husband's computer

 
 
 
OTTAWA Fears that her husband was cheating led a Cornwall woman to find his collection of more than 150 child porn videos described as "sexual torture."

"I was looking for love notes from girlfriends, and that's when I stumbled upon horrific, grotesque sites," Wendy Sedgwick said.

"That on its own made my stomach turn. I couldn't open any of the others. Just writing down the sites night after night, day after day, broke my heart."

Scott Ezard, 37, a former registered nurse at an Ottawa hospital, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and three months' probation in a court in Cornwall on Wednesday. He was found guilty of possession of child pornography in December.

Ezard, who has no previous criminal record, was arrested and charged on June 3, 2008, after Sedgwick turned him in.

Assistant Crown Attorney Juliana Martel, who had asked the judge for an 18-month sentence, described the videos as "sexual torture" during the trial.

"There is no better word than torture; it's horrible," Martel said. "Because they were downloaded on the Internet, everyone else has access to them. It's like a never-ending circle."

Defence lawyer Bill Wade, who asked the judge for a maximum sentence of 90 days, said one of the terms in the probation order was "taking the Charter of Rights and turning it on its head."

The police or probation officer can go into Ezard's home to check up anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., he said.

"(That) tends to eliminate any privacy rights a man has to his own home," Wade said. "That's going a little far."

Wade said he had referred his client to an Ottawa lawyer who would appeal the conviction and the sentence.

Wade said he argued during the trial that Ezard was at work in Ottawa when many of the downloads were made.

Sedgwick said she first detected the downloads in early 2008, when she was trolling for evidence of an affair.

Ezard had become distant and he spent a lot of time on the computer, she said, adding it wasn't the first time Ezard had been caught with pornography.

In 2003, the couple sought couselling to address Ezard's obsession with pornography. For several months in 2003, Ezard rented porn every second day, Sedgwick said.

It seemed for a while, she said, that Ezard stopped watching porn after they finished counselling.

A few years later, though, Sedgwick, 33, uncovered child pornography on Ezard's computer and reported him to police, she said.

Cornwall police Sgt. Jeff Carroll said Sedgwick brought him a list of child porn websites that her husband had visited.

"I was caught between a rock and a hard place because I depend on my husband," she said.

Police obtained a search warrant to seize Ezard's computer and it was examined by the Ottawa police high tech crime unit. More than 150 child pornography videos were found.

"I know my husband. His obsession is deep," Sedgwick said. "Who was there for those children while they were being violated? Why the hell should we be there for him?"

mhurley@thecitizen.canwest.com

 

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