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Man guilty of making intimate images available without consent

Guilty pleas are indicative of remorse, the defence said, adding that client admitted his guilt and is working on rehabilitation
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The Sault Ste. Marie Court House is pictured on July 21, 2022.

Tristin Harrison repeatedly called and texted a woman in the early morning hours of Feb, 24, 2020.

He telephoned her 30 times and sent 32 text messages, Ontario Court Justice John Condon heard Wednesday.

Pick up the phone, or he would be showing up with some of his friends, Harrison warned in the profanity-laced messages.

He also accused her of regularly changing her telephone number, prosecutor Robert Skeggs said.

He then sent intimate photos of her, telling the woman "I hope you enjoy my Facebook pictures."

Harrison pleaded guilty to making intimate images available without the person's consent and harassing the woman by repeatedly communicating with her.

"She feared for her safety," Skeggs said.

The Crown and defence counsel Ken Walker jointly recommended that the 25-year-old man, who has no prior criminal record, receive a suspended sentence, and be placed on probation for three years.

"This regularly attracts a custodial sentence even for first offenders," Skeggs told the court.

Harrison, who has a bipolar diagnosis and ADHD, has been involved in a mental health diversion program.

He is working with the Canadian Mental Health Association, co-operating with treatment and taking medications, the assistant Crown attorney said.

Walker said the joint submission is the result of the efforts made by his client.

He has been "participating fully, has completed counselling sessions and is going into others."

Harrison's guilty pleas are indicative of remorse, the defence said adding that he has admitted his guilt and is working on rehabilitation.

"I just want to move on with it," Harrison told the judge. "I'm truly sorry for my actions."

At the time, he had recently been diagnosed with cancer, was not on medication "and not in a good state of mind," the young man said.

"I hope l can move forward and be the best me I can."

Condon described his actions as "spiteful and very hurtful" and "obviously traumatic" for the complainant.

"You took images and put them on Facebook for the world to see," he admonished Harrison. "There's always a concern someone else might capture it and it will remain on the Internet forever."

When he imposed the sentence, Condon said he was pleased the accused had undergone a litany of programs.

Harrison's efforts at rehabilitation make it unlikely that he will be in this situation again if he is compliant with the programs and willing to continue, Condon said.

During his three-year probation, he must not communicate with the complainant, not be within 50 metres of her and must not possess any photos of her.

Condon also ordered him to delete or destroy any images he may have - a request made by the Crown to protect the woman.

Harrison assured the judge that he doesn't have any photographs.

He is not to possess any weapons and must take any assessments and counselling for psychiatric or psychological issues.

"I hope this a learning experience," the judge told him.

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About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 45 years.
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