LETHBRIDGE: After entering guilty pleas to charges of possessing and accessing child pornography January 25th, 65-year old Richard Buis has been sentenced to 8-months in custody followed by 2-years of probation. Buis will also be on the Sex Offender Information Registry for the next 10-years.
It was revealed back in January that it was his wife who first found the material and contacted police. In March of 2010 Buis was away on a business trip to China as part of his position as Vice-President at Lethbridge College, a position he has since resigned from. While he was gone his wife was searching through one of the laptops he used at home, which was property of Lethbridge College, when she came across the material.
An investigation by police found a total of 17 videos, amounting to over 2-hours, showing children involved in sexual and sometimes violent acts. The Judge described the material as "horrific and unthinkable" after viewing a sample of what Buis was watching.
The children in the videos ranged in ages from one to 15.
Before imposing a sentence the Judge noted that she could give Buis anywhere from 45-days in custody up to 5-years, however she accepted the joint-proposal put forward by the Crown and Defence. She stated that because he had no prior criminal record, and because he entered a guilty plea, the sentence was appropriate.
The probation order following his release will focus on keeping Buis away from children under the age of 16. Under the conditions Buis will need to stay away from children and places where they generally gather, unless he's in the company of a supervisor who knows about his conviction.
Another condition of the probation order will allow police or his probation officer to go to his house at any time to check his computer.