City man faces child pornography charge

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Nancy MacPhee
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SUMMERSIDE — A 24-year-old city man will remain behind bars until his trial in April for allegedly possessing child pornography.

Prince County Courthouse.

Tony Joseph Laviolette was arrested over the weekend by Summerside police and charged with possession of child pornography and two charges of breaching his probation by having contact with a female under the age of 16 without an adult over 18 present and allegedly being in a place where someone under 16 may be present.

Laviolette, his legs shackled and wrists handcuffed, appeared in Summerside provincial court Monday to answer to the charges, pleading guilty to contacting a female under the age of 16 and not guilty to possession of child pornography.

Crown attorney David O’Brien stayed the second breach charge after defence attorney Robert McNeill agreed that the information of that charge be included in the facts of the first breach.

McNeill had requested that sentencing on the breach charge take place immediately and not left until after the trial on the possession of child pornography charge.

O’Brien disagreed, telling the court that the Crown felt that both matters “must be dealt with jointly” although the two charges are unrelated and do not involve the same victims.

After submissions by both the Crown and defence in court, Judge Jeff Lantz set sentencing down on the breach of probation charge until after the April 5 trial on the child pornography charge.

No facts on either charge were presented in court.

According to information filed by police with the court, the breach of probation took place between Jan. 31 and Feb. 21 of this year. Information on the child pornography charge simply alleged that Laviolette was in possession of child pornography.

A hearing was held to determine if Laviolette should be released from custody until the time of his trial. The justice of the peace who presided over that hearing concluded, after hearing submissions from the Crown and defence, that there were sufficient grounds to keep Laviolette behind bars until dealt with by the court.

The trial on the child pornography charge is expected to last a day, with the Crown saying it will call six to seven witnesses.

An updated presentence report was requested prior to Laviolette’s sentencing on the breach of probation charge, which is expected to take place immediately following the trial.

 

nmacphee@journalpioneer.com

 

Geographic location: Summerside

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