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YOUNG PERSONS - Publication, records and information

Thursday, September 19, 2019 @ 6:24 AM  

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Application by BM for a stay of proceedings following his guilty pleas to possession of child pornography and child luring. The applicant admitted that when he was 17-years-old he used a fake email account, held himself out as a modelling agent to the 17-year-old complainant, and requested nude photographs from her, which she sent. After his arrest, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team named the applicant in a media release indicating he was one of 13 suspects arrested for child luring. The release was subsequently corrected to remove the applicant’s name. The Crown conceded the applicant’s right to security of the person under s. 7 of the Charter was breached by the publication of his name, residence and age in the media release.

HELD: Application allowed. The release of the applicant’s name prejudiced him but also prejudiced the whole youth justice system given the state was responsible for the release of that information. A simple examination of the information regarding the applicant would have confirmed to anyone looking at the document that he was a young person. There was no doubt the agency that released the information was aware the identification of young offenders was not to be published. The actions of the agency could not be remedied by a mere notice to the media. A stay of proceeding was the only appropriate vehicle to express that agencies of the government must follow the law.

R. v. B.M., [2019] A.J. No. 1021, Alberta Provincial Court, P.E. Kvill Prov. Ct. J., July 29, 2019. Digest No. TLD-September162019012