Newmarket man gets 7 years
10-year-old “emotionally broken”, sex assault sentencing hears
A Newmarket man who once catered children’s birthday parties and baby-sat the children of adults who trusted him was sentenced to seven years in prison today for sex crimes.
Newmarket judge Edwin Minden ordered Shawn Ahluwalia, 33, to serve two years and five months in prison, after crediting him the equivalent of four years and seven months for time spent in pre-sentence custody. Justice Minden also recommended Mr. Ahluwalia receive treatment.
Mr. Ahluwalia, a former school teacher, pleaded guilty in April to manufacturing and possessing child pornography, two counts of sexual interference and breaching a communication order last month.
York Regional Police accused Mr. Ahluwalia, who once ran Just For You catering on Eagle Street, east of Yonge Street in Newmarket, of inappropriate sexual activity with two 10-year-old girls and seized thousands of graphic child pornography videos and still images from his Newmarket home in 2008.
Before sentencing him, Justice Minden told the court Mr. Ahluwalia has left a “wake of devastation and shattered lives” and what his pornography depicts cannot be adequately captured by words.
“For him, depravity apparently knows no bounds,” Justice Minden said.
Mr. Ahluwalia, clad in a green long-sleeved shirt with white stripes, black pants and shackles, showed no emotion during today’s court appearance.
Certified to teach in 2000, Mr. Ahluwalia worked for a Kingston school board until he was accused of sexually assaulting a young girl, the court heard.
The Ontario College of Teachers found him guilty of professional misconduct and ordered his teaching certificate revoked.
Portions of victim impact statements, read by Justice Minden, provided a window into the repercussions of Mr. Ahluwalia’s actions.
The mother of one of the 10-year-old girls Mr. Ahluwalia was convicted of victimizing wrote he made her grow up too fast.
“She is broken emotionally,” Justice Minden read.
The grandmother of one of Mr. Ahluwalia’s victim’s wrote she can no longer sleep.
“To be completely betrayed by a friend was like being personally violated,” Justice Minden read. “The horrors of this and the unknown damage to a child are the things we as a family can’t bear to discuss.”
Their names cannot be printed due to publication bans.
Mr. Ahluwalia grew up in a supportive home and was strong academically, court heard.
Under questioning by Crown attorney Michelle Rumble and defence lawyer Joseph Bloomenfeld, probation officer Jessica Thiessen, who compiled a pre-sentence report on Mr. Ahluwalia, said the Newmarket man had expressed an interest in receiving treatment for his sexual behaviour and tried to stop himself from being around children.
Mr. Bloomenfeld later noted that there is some indication his client tried to address his problem after what happened in Kingston.
However, Ms Rumble suggested it was not enough that Mr. Ahluwalia simply visited a family doctor for treatment and did not pursue other options.
Perhaps he cannot choose who he is sexually attracted to but he can choose not to engage in criminal behaviour, Ms Rumble told the court.
“He is a human being,” she added. “Not an animal.”
In addition to prison time, Justice Minden also placed Mr. Ahluwalia on the sex offender registry for 20 years, forbid him from communicating with his victims, ordered him to provide a DNA sample, prohibited him from visiting parks, swimming pools, playgrounds and other places people younger than 16 are likely to be, banned him from communicating by computer with people younger than 16 and handed him a lifetime weapons ban.
The sentence delivered in Newmarket is apparently not the end of Mr. Ahluwalia’s troubles with the law, court heard.
He is currently before the courts in British Columbia, appearing by video link, in connection with seized files that depict a male sexually assaulting children.
The Crown in British Columbia intends to prosecute Mr. Ahluwalia, Justice Minden said.
A notorious Ontario sex offender has pleaded guilty to sex crimes in Kamloops.
Shawn Ahluwalia, 35, appeared briefly before a Supreme Court judge Friday, when Toronto defence lawyer Jospeph Bloomenfeld entered pleas on charges of sexual assault of an underage child and making or publishing child pornography. No plea was entered on a third charge of sexual interference of a person under 14.
The man was remanded in custody at KRCC and will be transferred for psychiatric assessment. He is expected to next appear in Kamloops court at an undetermined date this summer.
A former school teacher and caterer, Ahluwalia is currently serving time in Ontario for sex crimes committed against children. In 2010, he was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was given four years’ credit for pre-sentence custody.
The offences in Kamloops to which he pleaded guilty occurred between January and April 2006.
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