Joseph Patrick Rice was sentenced to 22 months in jail today for distributing child pornography, possessing child pornography and luring a person under the age of 18 by means of a computer.
The sentence was handed down in provincial court in St. John’s.
The judge gave Rice 88 days straight-time credit for time he's spent in custody since his arrest.
Rice will also be placed on probation for three years upon his release. Conditions will include he abstain from alcohol and drugs, and not to have contact with the complainant in the case.
He was also ordered to stay away from any place, including parks, swimming pools and other areas, where there are kids under 16.
Rice, 37, pleaded guilty to the offences which took place between Jan. 8, 2011, and Feb. 9, 2012 and involved a 16-year-old boy from Massachusetts in the United States.
Rice first came in contact with a boy while playing an online video game called Combat at Arms.
Rice, who was the administrator of the group, would speak to the boy while playing the game. They became friends and also communicated on Facebook.
They then exchanged cellphone numbers and communicated by text messaging.
In mid-January, 2012, the content of the text messaging became sexual, and involved photographs being sent and Rice offering to travel to Massachusetts to visit.
In rendering his decision, Judge James Walsh said while Rice readily admits what he did, "he shows little insight into the seriousness of the Internet luring."
Walsh also said it was concerning that Rice's criminal record — which includes drinking and driving, driving while disqualified, and assault — includes a conviction for sexual interference.
"Thirteen years later, you're convicted of more sexual crimes involving adolescents and that's very concerning to the court," Walsh said.
Walsh said Rice controlled the video game and groomed the teen over time.
The judge said while the number of images was small (seven images), and the distribution minimal, the crimes are still very serious and have a minimum sentence of one year.