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A Queen’s Bench judge says his only concern over designating repeat child porn offender Shane Dale Pattison a long-term offender — allowing his eventual release into the community — is that he will be denied any treatment opportunities for a second time.

Justice Richard Danyliuk is expected to decide Thursday if Pattison, 28, should be designated a long-term offender who is supervised for 10 years following a seven-year prison sentence. 

The Crown and defence jointly submitted the sentence after Pattison was caught downloading and sharing child pornography in a halfway house almost immediately after he was released from prison on previous child porn charges. He’s pleaded guilty to 42 new charges of possessing and distributing child porn. 

Lawyers believe that although Pattison poses a significant risk to reoffend, he hasn’t had a chance to prove he is manageable in the community because he was never given the opportunity for treatment. A long-term offender designation requires a likelihood of reintegration achieved through lengthy supervision. 

A Saskatoon courtroom heard this week that an intake parole officer deemed Pattison a low risk to reoffend — a designation that followed him throughout his federal sentence and ultimately prevented him from taking sex offender programming.

Parole officers testified that Pattison wanted help and his risk assessment should have been increased, Crown prosecutor Lana Morelli said in her submissions.

She said Pattison has contributed to the dissemination of thousands of child porn images, mostly of children between infancy and eight years old, and befriended the abusers who provided him with some of those images.

“There is no offender quite like him in Saskatchewan, Canada or even the United States,” Morelli said in citing case law for a sentencing range. 

Pattison demonstrated escalating behaviour — seeking babysitting jobs, fantasizing about abusing a child — that should have resulted in a higher risk assessment, defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle said. 

Court heard part of the reason Pattison didn’t qualify for treatment is that he didn’t commit a “hands-on offence.” There are no in-custody treatment programs for internet-based sex crimes, despite a growing number of child porn offenders ending up in the federal system. 

Just because Pattison hasn’t abused a child doesn’t mean he wouldn’t benefit from sex offender treatment, Danyliuk noted. Morelli said the hope is that Pattison will be deemed a medium risk to reoffend, enabling him to access programming. 

Both lawyers pointed to a psychologist’s finding that Pattison can be managed in the community. Her recommendations included libido-reducing medication and community programs and support groups. Court heard Pattison did well on electronic monitoring and can control his urges when he knows he is being watched. 

Pattison was sentenced to five years in prison in 2012 after pleading guilty to 53 charges of possessing, accessing and sharing images of children between infancy and eight years old being abused. Investigators have described his collection, which included child bondage and torture, as one of the worst they’ve ever seen., latest News Around the world presents the latest information of national, regional, and international, politics, economics, sports, automotive, and lifestyle.

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