Pedaphile bus driver took job to access kids: Crown – The London Free Press
A sentencing hearing for an elementary school bus driver convicted of disgusting child pornography crimes hinged on the assessment of an expert on sexual predators.
Len Kushnier testified Tuesday about his professional assessment of the 30-year-old man who has been held in custody for the past year.
Called by defence lawyer James Brown, Kushnier said the bus driver’s pedophile tendencies could not be cured but could be “managed” and he was at moderate risk to reoffend.
Known online as “Steps”, the man can’t be identified under a court-imposed publication ban on his name and employment details to protect the identity of the children.
The bus driver gave children treats laced with his own semen and took cellphone videos of the children eating the treats. The videos were uploaded onto the dark web, on a child-porn message board.
Kushnier said the driver was remorseful and could benefit from a two-year treatment program at a correctional institution.
But Kushnier was grilled by Assistant Crown Attorney Joe Perfetto who suggested he took a job as a bus driver just to get access to young children. Perfetto suggested the bus driver was “highly motivated” to act out his fantasies, saying the bus driver prepared elaborate videos and made no effort to seek help for his pedophilia prior to being arrested.
The investigation revealed that 39 children were exposed to Steps’ crimes. London police organized a community meeting at the school to help identify the kids in the videos and explain the court process.
Ontario Court Justice Allan Maclure received a victim impact statement from one family, but it was not read out in court.
The bus driver, who has no relevant criminal record, was originally charged with 78 counts but last month pleaded guilty to 23 counts of voyeurism and possessing, distributing or creating child pornography.
He worked for a London bus company and drove an elementary school bus route.
The first hints of his perversion were picked up by a corporal with the RCMP who was investigating users of a dark web site called MagicKingdom, a known as a forum for child exploitation. Using a TOR computer network allowed users to conceal their identities and activities, by separating user identification and the routing of files.
Officers found four files uploaded to the website in which a man would masturbate on food, then feed the food to children on a bus and have conversations with them about it.
After they discovered the videographer used the nickname Steps, the RCMP found 24 more of his videos on another dark web site called Child’s Play.
Some of the videos showed Steps masturbating on the bus while children can be heard in the background.
The RCMP was able to narrow the location of the videos to the London region and sent some of the digital files to London police who were able to identify landmarks in the videos and determined the school.
The bus company gave police the name of the driver, while Ontario’s transportation ministry provided his address.
He was arrested at his home in last July. Steps held a knife and to his own neck and pleaded with officers to kill him, but he was taken into custody without harm to himself or an officer.
A search of the bus driver’s electronic devices showed he had 884 child-exploitive videos and images. Of the 884 files, he had created 176 of them on the school bus.
Steps confessed during his police interview that he took the videos during the 2015-2016 school year.
Maclure indicated he would reserve his decision on the sentence until Sept. 27.