Canadian Judge Convicts Man of Luring Teenager After Facebook Chats With Police

By Jeremy Hainsworth

Jan. 2 — A provincial court judge in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador Dec. 19 convicted a man of one of four counts of luring teenage girls through online sites including Facebook for purposes of committing sexual offenses.

Judge David Orr said the main issue at trial was the identity of the accused as the author of the messages sent to the officers, who were impersonating online two girls younger than 16.

The court held that defendant Sean Mills's identity was established in two of the four charges because of messages to the victims found on his seized computer. It added that the defendant may have believed one of the victims was at least 18, but it convicted him on the charge where the evidence showed he thought the victim's age was 14.

The court said law enforcement used the program Encase, which it ruled admissible because it was a reliable forensics program. It added that Encase is “widely used by government and police services in Canada and the United States.”

The court dismissed two counts, holding that evidence of whether Mills attempted to meet up with one of the teenagers was circumstantial.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hainsworth in Vancouver at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael O. Loatman at mloatman@bna.com