Nanny receives eight-year sentence for 'horrific' crimes against children

A Victoria nanny who sexually abused three children in his care has been sentenced to eight years in a federal penitentiary.

And after his release from prison, Johnathon Robichaud will be prohibited by a court order from working, volunteering or having contact with children for 25 years. Robichaud will be 66-years-old before he can go to public parks, swimming pools or community centres where young people gather.

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In July, Robichaud pleaded guilty to sexual interference, sexual touching, showing sexually explicit material to children, possessing child pornography and making child pornography of his three victims. The names of three children, who are from two families, are protected by a publication ban.

On Monday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gaul called Robichaud’s crimes “nothing short of horrific.”

He agreed with the Crown that Robichaud’s behaviour was “a stunning breach of trust” and a significant aggravating factor at sentencing.

Court heard that Robichaud, now 33, began working part-time for one of the families in May 2016. The family found him listed on a website and set up a test visit. They checked his references. Robichaud was required to pick up the children from school and drive them to extracurricular activities.

In July 2018, the mother was reading to one of her children before bed when the child revealed details of sexual abuse. She immediately phoned police.

Robichaud was arrested in an orchestrated traffic stop on July 26, 2018. Police found 133 child pornography images of the three children in his care on his cellphone. Some of the images are exceedingly graphic. Police also found 12,501 child pornography images on a separate card in the cellphone.

In September, Saanich police received a tip that Robichaud had given his computer to his father. When officers followed up at his father’s home, Robichaud’s father asked if the allegations against his son were related to children. When police confirmed they were, the father retrieved a 750-gigabyte hard drive hidden behind a painting and gave it to police. It contained 100 images of child pornography.

A pre-sentence report revealed that Robichaud has been diagnosed with social anxiety and pedophilic disorder. Robichaud claims to have no memory of the incidents with his child victims, which is one reason he has been assessed at moderate to high risk to reoffend.

Robichaud’s moral culpability is high, said Gaul.

“He knew what he was doing when he abused the children and he knew what he was doing was wrong.”

His lack of memory is not believable. It’s an unsophisticated attempt to avoid responsibility for his behaviour, said the judge.

Robichaud should not be in a position of authority over children and his use of the Internet should be restricted at least until he is willing to accept responsibility for his sexual offending and successfully participate in sex offender treatment, said Gaul.

Gaul found it aggravating that Robichaud altered the child pornography photographs so he wouldn’t be recognized. He found Robichaud’s guilty plea and lack of criminal record to be mitigating factors at sentencing.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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