This story has been updated to include further information from Monday’s sentencing.
Edward Casavant has been sentenced to six years behind bars for numerous charges related to child sexual assault and child pornography in Penticton Provincial Court .
He received one year credit for time already served, but will spend five more years behind bars.
The former Summerland lifeguard, also known as “Eddie Spaghetti” appeared in Penticton court via video where he was sentenced by Justice Monica McParland.
In July 2019, Casavant, 54 at the time, pleaded guilty to several charges stemming from incidents between 2008 to 2014.
At the sentencing, it was heard that Casavant created explicit videos of children for a period of 10 to 15 years, including 30 voyeurism videos – mostly of boys ranging in age from six to 10 years old.
Justice McParland noted that Casavant was found to be in possession of 275 unique explicit videos of children.
In addition to being found guilty of possessing child porn at or near Summerland and Penticton, Casavant was also found guilty of unlawfully observing children at a community aquatic centre. He was also found guilty of sexual exploitation of a person with disability, and was also found guilty of making child pornography at or near Penticton.
Over the years, Justice McParland explained that Casavant worked as a lifeguard for years, as well as in summer camps and as an early childhood educator.
“Mr. Casavant therefore occupied a significant position of trust to many children in the community over a protracted time span including (individual) and the dozens of unnamed children he captured on video in the … voyeurism videos,” he said.
His offences first came to light in November 2018 when Casavant went to a Staples store in Penticton, inquiring about purchasing a new laptop. During the transfer of data from his old computer to the new one, an employee who was periodically monitoring the computer noticed a concerning file, and let his supervisor know, who then informed RCMP.
It was determined to be child porn and RCMP executed a search warrant for Casavant’s property. Authorities found a computer in the process of being wiped. There was official speculation that the computer contained further illegal materials but it remains unclear what was deleted from this computer.
Further investigation of all electronic devices revealed that Casavant was in possession of 275 videos of downloaded child pornography. The majority of the videos contained boys aged eight to 10 years old.
It was also found that Casavant surreptitiously produced 30 voyeurism videos inside the change rooms at the Summerland Aquatic Centre.
Justice McParland explained that not all families affected by the videos have been notified.
Given the date range of the offence to which Casavant has pleaded, McParland said, “an entire generation of boys were likely affected…”
McParland found that the variety and size of the collection is aggravating, since the victim’s ages range from infant to 12 years old, and the content included sexual intercourse, bestiality, and bondage.
Likely, McParland said many families in the community will be affected by and suffer from anxiety after details of the voyeurism videos become public by virtue of the sentencing.
The pre-sentence psychiatric report found that Casavant has been diagnosed as a pedophile, and possesses a higher than average risk to reoffend.
The courts did find favour in Casavant’s entering into an early guilty plea, as it spared some individuals from testifying. This was given significant weight, as without his guilty plea, McParland explained that it would have been a complicated, lengthy trial.
In court, Casavant expressed regret and remorse for his actions.
“Mr. Casavant has been clear that he is willing and ready to accept any treatment prescribed to him and, in fact, has been asking to take sex offender and life skills programming treatment while he has been in custody on remand status,” McParland said.
In addition to time sentenced, Casavant was also issued a series of restrictions, including weapons. He was ordered to submit his DNA and to comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act for life.
Casavant is prohibited from attending a public park, school ground, daycare centre, where persons under the age of 16 could be present, for a period of 10 years. He was also prohibited from working with or volunteering at a place where those under the age of 16 may be present.
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