Last Updated: December 28, 2010 8:36am
KINGSTON - A 36-year-old member of the military, who molested a 3 1/2-year-old girl in 2005 -- but eluded charges when the child wouldn't repeat details to investigators and medical evidence proved inconclusive -- has finally been jailed after relating his crimes to a woman he was courting on MSN.
Casey E. Ledwon was jailed two years by Superior Court Justice Helen MacLeod-Beliveau, in addition to 485 days he spent in pretrial custody. Upon his release, Ledwon faces three years of probation.
Ledwon, who was based in Petawawa, pleaded guilty in September to having sex with a child; touching a child for a sexual purpose; having possession of child pornography; two counts of distributing child pornography; and violating bail he received in January 2009, a week after initial charges were laid.
He also breached bail by not turning over all of his computers to military police.
Ledwon's crimes were outlined to the judge in an "agreed statement of facts". Justice MacLeod-Beliveau accepted a joint recommendation on sentencing from assistant Crown attorney Ross Drummond and defence lawyer Connie Baran-Gerez.
MacLeod-Beliveau said, "the court, Mr. Ledwon, has nothing but absolute outrage and disgust for the crimes that you've committed," and she characterized him as "despicable."
"You have disgraced the military in this community by committing these offences."
The deal was brokered to avoid stirring up fading memories for the child victims -- now five and 10 years old.
Ledwon's crimes came to light after he began an online relationship in the summer of 2007 with the mother of a two-year-old girl, a woman who was also a married Children's Aid Society employee.
At the time, Ledwon was already living with another woman he'd met after his first tour in Afghanistan.
The marriage of the new woman in Ledwon's life, meanwhile, ended in the fall of 2007, around the time she and Ledwon first met in person.
The judge was told that Ledwon left in May 2008 for his second tour in Afghanistan, but returned to Canada for two weeks in July. During that period, he also met an estimated six times with his new romantic interest, who lives outside Kingston.
The day after his leave ended, however, OPP were contacted by the ex-husband of Ledwon's new girlfriend. The man told police that he'd picked up his then three-year-old daughter after a regularly scheduled visit with her mother and the child told him her mother's new boyfriend -- Ledwon -- had touched her "birdie," which was her word for her genitals.
The pre-schooler was interviewed, but provided inconsistent statements.
The girl's mother was later interviewed and disclosed that during her MSN chats with Ledwon while he was in Afghanistan he'd sent her child pornography -- photographs of adult men penetrating little girls, and close-ups of semen on the bellies and crotches of children.
At the end of July, she allowed the OPP to seize and search her computer where investigators found 20 images of child pornography involving girls estimated to be between three and 13 years old had been sent to her computer. Ledwon was arrested on Jan. 5, 2009, when he returned from Afghanistan and charged with possessing and distributing child pornography.
The following day, police spoke to his common-law spouse, with whom he had been living since 2006, and learned that Ledwon owned a number of computers. The woman allowed police to seize a Compaq Presario computer Ledwon had brought back from Afghanistan.
Police found 23 images of child pornography involving girls between three and 10 years old performing sex acts with adult males and females, as well as 1,127 adult pornographic images.
Drummond filed transcripts of MSN conversations between Ledwon and his new romantic interest - the mother of the second child he molested. In them, Ledwon describes sexual assaults three years earlier on his 3 1/2-year-old victim, including claims of oral sex, digital penetration, full vaginal intercourse and buggery. He bragged that on one occasion he invited a friend to watch.
During one chat the woman asked him if what he'd been doing ever felt wrong to him and he replied that "it felt right and natural."
He asked the woman if she would be willing to try what was being depicted in the photos, and if she'd let him perform sex acts on her three-year-old child. Her reply was that she wouldn't let him touch her daughter, but would let the child watch the two of them have sex and if the toddler wanted to touch while watching them, she texted, that would be all right.
The transcripts also reveal Ledwon has a number of deviant sexual inclinations known as paraphilia, including sexual arousal from drinking children's urine, which he was quite candid about in his MSN chats.
In March 2009 the OPP executed another search warrant at Ledwon's home in Petawawa, seizing several computers, hard drives, computer devises and DVDs and CDs, which he had not turned over to military police as ordered. The e-Crimes Unit then seized the computers he had handed over to the MPs and searched the lot.
The judge learned that those searches turned up more MSN chats between Ledwon and his common-law partner while he was in Afghanistan between July 2008 and January 2009. In one of those conversations, he asks her to perform a sex act in front of a webcam with one of the family dogs, so he could watch.
It was the only allegation contained in the agreed statement of facts not admitted by the defence. Baran-Gerez, on her client's behalf, said "with regard to the charge of bestiality, all elements are denied."
As she handed down sentence, MacLeod-Beliveau forbade Ledwon from having contact with anyone under the age of 16, except in the presence of a responsible adult over 21 in a meeting specifically approved in advance by his probation supervisor.
Ledwon is also barred from accessing the Internet or possessing any devise capable of accessing the internet or storing or taking photographs, except for educational or employment purposes, or with the prior approval of his probation supervisor.
Ledwon has been ordered included for the next 20 years on the Sex Offender Information He is also prohibited for life from attending playgrounds, community centres and other places where children gather could reasonably be expected to congregate.