Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ex-City Councillor Used Cash to Lure Boys into Home to Carry out Sex Acts: Crown

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ex-City Councillor Used Cash to Lure Boys into Home to Carry out Sex Acts: Crown

Article excerpt

Ex-politician used cash to lure boys: Crown

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SAINT JOHN, N.B. - A former city councillor in Saint John, N.B., used cash to lure boys into his home where he had them carry out sex acts, the Crown said Thursday at the sentencing hearing for Donnie Snook.

Snook, who has pleaded guilty to nearly four dozen charges including child pornography and sexual assault, sat quietly in the prisoner's box with his head down as lawyer Karen Lee Lamrock outlined the evidence against him.

After police arrested him in January, they seized his computers and found 14,457 photos and another 620 videos of child pornography, Lamrock said. She showed provincial court Judge Alfred Brien what she described as a "representative sample" of the photos and videos seized. They included images of various child sex acts, she said.

She later told the court that Snook, 41, provided money to boys to perform sex acts in his suburban home and allowed them to consume alcohol and marijuana there.

"It was a permissive atmosphere," she said.

Snook helped run a local lunch program for kids, where he met one boy who he victimized for about seven years, Lamrock said. "Almost half his life."

Lamrock said Snook was involved with another boy for five years. She read from a statement Snook gave to police after his arrest in which he said, "If ever I felt like a predator, it was now. I was ready to go."

Lamrock said when investigators tried to question the boy, he curled up in a ball and didn't respond.

Another of the boys Snook abused was a child who was in his care for a time, court heard.

Lamrock said very few of the boys provided victim impact statements.

Snook pleaded guilty in May to 46 charges including sexual assault and possessing, distributing and making child pornography. He was arrested by the RCMP after an investigation that began in 2011 involving the Saint John and Toronto police.

The Mounties say the crimes began in January 2001 and involved 17 boys, most of whom were from the Saint John area and between the ages of five and 15 at the time of the offences. …

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