A former Brock computer science student plead guilty to possessing 514 pornographic images of children in a St. Catharines courtroom on Monday, Jun. 11, while two other more serious counts of distributing child pornography were dropped. Justice Al Lacavera sentenced Casey Ethier to a one year conditional sentence and handed him a $1000 fine. Ethier’s sentence had several restrictions, including a ban on Internet access and subscribing to an Internet service provider, and being restricted to his home between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Ethier was arrested while a 19 year-old second-year student at Brock in 1998 following an investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police, Niagara Regional Police and Brock Police Service. During the investigation, Ethier chatted over the Internet and exchanged images with an undercover police officer posing as a 13 year-old girl during May and June of 1998, eventually leading to the executing of search warrants at Ethier’s university residence and his mother’s Fort Erie home.