Former Summerland lifeguard Edward Casavant was sentenced to six years behind bars for numerous charges related to child sexual assault and child pornography this week.
Casavant, also known as “Eddie Spaghetti,” appeared in Penticton provincial court on Jan. 13 via video where he was sentenced by Judge Monica McParland. He received one year credit for 242 days already served in jail, but will spend five more years behind bars.
In July 2019, Casavant, 54 years old at the time, pleaded guilty to several charges stemming from incidents between 2008 to 2014.
At the sentencing, it was heard that Casavant created explicit videos of children under age for a period of 10 to 15 years, including 30 voyeurism videos, mostly of boys ranging in age from six to 10 years old.
McParland said Casavant was found to be in possession of 275 unique explicit videos of children.
In addition to being found guilty of possessing child porn at or near Summerland and Penticton, Casavant was also found guilty of unlawfully observing children at the Summerland Aquatic Centre. He was also found guilty of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability, and was also found guilty of making child pornography at or near Penticton.
McParland noted that Casavant worked as a lifeguard for years, as well as in summer camps and as an early childhood educator.
“Mr. Casavant, therefore, occupied a significant position of trust to many children in the community over a protracted time span including (individual) and the dozens of unnamed children he captured on video in the Summerland Aquatic Centre voyeurism videos,” he said.
His offences first came to light in November 2018 when Casavant attended the Staples store in Penticton, inquiring about purchasing a new laptop. During the transfer of data from his old computer to the new one, a Staples employee who was periodically monitoring the computer noticed a concerning file, and let his supervisor know, who then informed RCMP.
It was determined to be child porn and RCMP executed a search warrant for Casavant’s property. Upon doing so authorities found a computer in the process of being wiped. Authorities speculated that the computer contained further illegal materials but it remains unclear what was deleted from this computer.
Further investigation of all electronic devices revealed that Casavant was in possession of 275 unique videos of downloaded child pornography. These included a variety of offences. The subjects in the videos contained toddlers, some aged eight weeks old, but the majority of the videos contained boys aged eight to 10 years old.
It was also found that Casavant surreptitiously produced 30 voyeurism videos inside the change rooms at the Summerland Aquatic Centre.
McParland explained that not all families affected by the videos have been notified.
“The Crown and the defence have noted that the police purposely, and consciously, have not taken steps to notify the parents of all the boys in the Summerland Aquatic Centre videos, despite the fact that their faces are visible and they may be able to be identified,” said McParland.
“I am told that this decision was made in order to spare the victims.”
Given the date range of the offence to which Casavant has pleaded, McParland said, “an entire generation of boys were likely affected.”
Several disturbing examples of Casavant’s endeavours were identified during the sentencing.
McParland found that his actions were aggravated, and planned. Particularly in relation to the child pornography, McParland found that the variety and size of the collection was aggravating, since the victim’s ages range from infant to 12 years old, and the content included sexual intercourse, bestiality, and bondage.
Casavant did not plead guilty to distributing and was not sentenced as such, however, McParland explained that there was some evidence showing he had the intent to share and trade child pornography.
Although the continuing impact on individuals and their families is undetermined at this time, McParland explained that it is “well-settled and supported by case authority” that offences like this routinely have a devastating and lasting impact on child victims into adulthood.
Likely, McParland said many families in the community will be affected by and suffer from anxiety after details of the voyeurism videos become public by virtue of the sentencing.
“And even the anxiety of knowing that a child took swimming lessons and was potentially a victim will have (an) impact on many local families.”
McParland also added that the courts found Casavant to lack insight into the true depth of the devastating impact of his crimes on his victims.
The pre-sentence psychiatric report found that Casavant has been diagnosed as a pedophile, and possesses a higher than average risk to re-offend.
The courts did find favour in Casavant’s entering into an early guilty plea, as it spared some individuals from testifying. This was given significant weight as without his guilty plea, McParland explained that it would have been a complicated, lengthy trial.
In court, Casavant expressed regret and remorse for his actions.
“Mr. Casavant has been clear that he is willing and ready to accept any treatment prescribed to him, and in fact has been asking to take sex offender and life skills programming treatment while he has been in custody on remand status,” McParland said.
In addition to time sentenced, Casavant was also issued a series of restrictions, including weapons. He was ordered to submit his DNA and to comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act for life.
He was ordered to forfeit several items in relation to child pornography.
Casavant is prohibited from attending a public park, school ground, daycare centre, where persons under the age of 16 could be present, for a period of 10 years. He was also banned from visiting the residence or workplace of victims.
He was also prohibited from working with or volunteering at a place where those under the age of 16 may be present.
McParland wished Casavant good luck and concluded the sentencing.
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