Wednesday 21 February 2018

Canadian jailed for sex with Irish girl he groomed

Jashua Tremblay
Jashua Tremblay
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A Canadian man who flew to Ireland twice to meet with a teenage girl he groomed online, before having sex with her, has been sentenced to four and a half years in jail.

Jashua Tremblay (34), of Fort McMurray, Edmonton, pleaded guilty to charges of luring to facilitate child pornography and luring for sexual contact, and sexual interference.

His sentence also includes a 10-year ban from the internet, or locations where children could be, after he is released.

Tremblay first contacted the Irish teenager in 2012 when she was just 13 years old on an online forum and 14 months later he travelled to Ireland where he booked them into hotels and a holiday home.

The victim's devastated father - her sole surviving parent - told the court Tremblay had 'brain-washed' his daughter before having a sexual relationship with her. According to an "agreed statement of facts" presented to the court, Tremblay had convinced her that they were in a legitimate relationship.

She believed she would move to Canada and marry him when she turned 18. He also told her he wanted "100 kids".

During the two years he preyed on her using online messages, at least one letter and audio messages, he sent naked pictures of himself to her. He also encouraged her to reciprocate with explicit images of herself.

Read More: Watch: Canadian predator who groomed Irish teen (14) attends court hand-in-hand with young woman

The sentencing hearing in Court of Queen's Bench heard that Tremblay, who was married with a child, began to have sexual conversations through the app.

In July 2013, he first travelled to Ireland and spent a week in hotel rooms and bought a tent, camping for a few nights.

During the visit, the pair had sex and he continued to convince the victim they were in a legitimate relationship.

The girl had lied to her father, telling him she would be spending a week-long break from school with a friend. On Tremblay's return to Canada, the girl's father became suspicious when he saw excerpts of a letter Tremblay had posted to the victim. Pretending to be a 19-year-old pen pal, he spoke on the phone to her dad and promised not to contact her again.

However, he continued to communicate with her and on mid-term break in October 2013 he visited again for 10 days.

They spent the 10 days together, staying in a rented home. At first, neighbours thought they were a holidaying father and daughter, but called police after noticing an unusual amount of affection.

When police contacted the teenager's father, the girl was questioned about where she had been during her break. Tremblay was arrested in Canada after he was identified by gardaí here.

He was arrested in December 2015 in Fort McMurray. While on bail, he was also found to have breached conditions when he evacuated with his girlfriend and her three children during a wildfire.

Tremblay has undergone counselling since his arrest and a psychiatric report presented to court found that he does not meet the criteria to be diagnosed with paedophilia.

The criminal behaviour is instead attributed to a "regression" brought on by the stress of his marriage and becoming a father.

The report suggests that he had "primarily a misjudgment regarding the basic rules of courtship".

Irish Independent

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