Belfast Telegraph

Canadian who flew to Ireland to meet teen (14) he groomed online 'brainwashed her' before sex, devastated father tells court

By Laura Larkin

A Canadian man who flew to Ireland twice to meet with a teenage girl he began grooming on the internet when she was just 13, before having sex with her, is due to be sentenced today.

Jashua Robert Tremblay (34) has pleaded guilty to two counts of child luring, one count of sexual interference and two counts of breaching conditions.

He met the Irish girl (13) on an online forum and began exchanging messages with her offline, including explicit pictures.

When she turned 14 he travelled to Ireland, 14 months after he first preyed on her.

According to an "agreed statement of facts" presented to the court Tremblay had convinced her they were in a legitimate relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend.

She came to believe she was in love with him.

In a victim impact statement the girl's devastated father said she had been "brainwashed" by the predator.

She believed she would move to Canada and marry him when she turned 18. He also told her he wanted "100 kids".

He sent naked pictures of himself to her, and encouraged her to reciprocate. He also sent the girl explicit audio messages about sexual acts he wanted them to perform on one another.

In July 2013 he first travelled to Ireland and spent a week in hotel rooms and bought a tent, camping for a few nights.

During the visit the pair had sex and he continued to convince the victim they were in a legitimate relationship.

The girl had lied to her father - her only surviving parent - telling him she would be spending a week-long break from school with a friend.

On Tremblay's return to Canada the girl's father became suspicious when he saw excerpts of a letter Tremblay had posted to the victim. Pretending to be a 19-year-old pen pal he spoke on the phone to her dad and promised not to contact her again.

However, he continued to communicate with her and on midterm break in October 2013 he visited again for ten days.

He a booked holiday home in a seaside town and together they visited tourist spots and went shopping during the day, but locals became suspicious.

When first interviewed by gardaí it is understood he pretended to be the victim's father.

The father wrote that after Tremblay’s offences were discovered, his daughter became distressed and isolated, and had to seek counselling.

Tremblay was arrested in his hometown of Fort McMurray in Canada in December 2015 and appeared in Court of Queen's Bench in Edmonton yesterday.

He is due to be sentenced on Wednesday and the prosecution is seeking a five year jail term, but the defense lawyer is arguing for a four-year term.

While on bail he was also found to have breached conditions when he evacuated with his girlfriend and her three children during a wildfire.

He stayed 11 days at a home elsewhere and did not inform the family who allowed them to stay about the conditions of his release.

Tremblay has undergone counselling since his arrest and a psychiatric report presented to court found that he does not meet the criteria to be diagnosed with pedophilia.

The criminal behaviour is instead attributed to a “regression” brought on by the stress of his marriage and becoming a father.

The report suggests that he “primarily a misjudgment regarding the basic rules of courtship.”

However, the Crown prosecutor in the case Craig Krieger asked the court, to note the inappropriateness of using the word "courtship" in this context when handing down the sentence.

Additional reporting by the Edmonton Journal

Irish Independent

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph