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St. Jude’s man handed another eight years in jail for latest child luring charges

Clarke - Star file photo

A St. Jude’s man convicted of child luring for the third was given an eight-year sentence for his most recent charges during an appearance in provincial court in Corner Brook on Wednesday.

In his written decision on the matter, Judge Wayne Gorman calls Oral Clarke a serial child sexual offender.

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He said the 67-year-old constitutes a significant danger to the children in his community and, because of the way he uses the Internet, that he constitutes a significant danger to children on a worldwide basis.

“No sentence other than the imposition of a significant period of incarceration fits his crimes.”

Those crimes include four counts of Internet luring, transmitting explicit sexual material to a child and accessing child pornography.

The four victims in the case ranged in age from 12-14 and two of them live outside Canada.

Posing as a 16-year-old boy under the alias of Ammon Charlebois, Clarke engaged in sexualized chats with his victims and requested they send him pictures of themselves in the nude or wearing only their underwear. He also live-viewed the children engaging in sexual activity at his request.

Gorman said what occurred was not an accident or a mistake.

“Mr. Clarke’s offences took planning and deliberation. These are crimes of forethought, not crimes of opportunity or passion.”

All the charges he’s faced have stemmed from the same investigation and span a time period between October 2014 and March 2016. The investigation was launched in November 2015 and resulted in two previous convictions.

He was sentenced to 20 months in jail in June 2017 for Internet luring and possession of child pornography and to another 18 months in March for Internet luring.

Clarke has been serving his time at the Bishop’s Falls Correctional Centre and appeared via video conference for this sentencing on Wednesday.

His eight-year sentence is to be served consecutive to his present sentences.

In sentencing Clarke, Gorman was asked to consider if the mandatory minimums for the offences would be in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Gorman found that the one-year mandatory minimum sentence for Internet luring and the six months for transmitting explicit sexual material to a child did not violate the Charter. He did find that the minimum of one year for accessing child pornography violates the Charter.

Other orders

A victim fine surcharge of $200 for each offence

A DNA order

A lifetime Section 161 order prohibiting Clarke from

1. seeking, obtaining or continuing any employment, whether or not the employment is remunerated, or becoming or being a volunteer in a capacity that involves being in a position of trust or authority towards persons under the age of sixteen years

2. having any contact, including communicating by any means, with a person who is under the age of sixteen years, unless such contact is in the continuous presence of another adult who is at least twenty-one years of age, except for contact with his grandchildren as allowed by their respective parents

3. using the Internet or other digital network, for the purpose of contacting any person under sixteen years of age, except for his grandchildren as allowed by their respective parents

A lifetime order under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act

A 10-year weapons prohibition

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