Donnie Snook had more than 15,000 files of child porn: Crown

The Canadian Press
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Donnie Snook in provincial court in Corner Brook last week. — TC Media file photo

By Kevin Bissett

The Canadian Press—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, and is facing four charges stemming from incidents that happened in Newfoundland in the 1990s, 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.

Lamrock said Snook was arrested after he offered to put “one of his boys” on video while chatting online with an undercover officer. There was a boy in Snook’s home at the time of his arrest, Lamrock said.

In some cases while chatting online with boys, Snook pretended to be a teenage girl, Lamrock said.

Darrell Bastarache, a former friend of Snook’s, said he was bothered by what he heard in court.

“I’m disgusted. There’s a lot that I heard today that I didn’t quite know,” Bastarache said outside court.

“He doesn’t look like the Donnie I knew now that he has been exposed. What really bothers me is that I’m not seeing any remorse.”

Snook was elected to city council in 2008 and was involved in community organizations including the Inner City Youth Ministry, which provides sports programs, mentoring and lunches at three schools.

Neither the Crown nor defence have said what sentences they are seeking. The hearing continues today.

Snook is also facing charges in relation to alleged sex offences that date back to 1995 and 1996 while he was stationed with the Salvation Army in Mount Moriah.

The charges include two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference, all against the same male victim. One count of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference are alleged to have occurred in Mount Moriah and the others at or near Barachois Pond Park.

— With files from TC Media

Organizations: Kevin BissettThe Canadian Press, RCMP, Inner City Youth Ministry Salvation Army

Geographic location: SAINT JOHN, Newfoundland, Toronto Mount Moriah.The Mount Moriah Barachois Pond Park

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Recent comments

  • Empty Kettle
    August 30, 2013 - 09:50

    This sicko was an officer aka pastor with the Salvation Army for much of this. However, the media seems not to play up on this fact, almost as if they do not want to sully the name of the Salvation Army. Then, to make matters worse I have not yet seen the leadership of the Salvation Army rebuke of him or the church system which allowed him to operate. I will be expressing my outrage with the Salvation Army by no longer giving them any support.

  • gerry humby
    August 30, 2013 - 09:34

    very sad story