Ex-Bomber prez a sicko

DEAN PRITCHARD, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

Ross Brown was a respected doctor, a former president of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and sat on the board of directors for Special Olympics.

Today he sits in jail, serving a 45-day sentence for possession of child pornography.

"Mr. Brown's arrest affirms that all kinds of individuals from all walks of life become embroiled in this kind of crime," Crown attorney Tony Kavanagh said at a sentencing hearing yesterday.

Brown, 72, sat in the witness box with his head hung low as Judge Robin Finlayson reviewed a sampling of the nearly 5,000 images and videos of child pornography police seized from his home computer.

'CARRY THE BURDEN'

The images involved children, predominantly girls between the ages of two and 16, engaged in acts of sexual posing, bondage and bestiality.

"I have failed not only the community, but also my family, friends, professional colleagues and myself," Brown told court.

"I will carry the burden of my shame for the rest of my life ... I truly appreciate and acknowledge how wrong my actions were."

Court heard Brown came to the attention of U.S. investigators in June 2006 after they uncovered a website featuring "sexually inappropriate" pictures of a 12-year-old girl.

The website listed Brown as its "administrative contact."

Brown's sentence came as the result of a plea bargain between the Crown and defence. Court heard the 2007 disbanding of the joint ICE unit and an ongoing investigation by the FBI in the U.S. led to a two-year delay in the Crown providing disclosure to the defence.

LETTERS OF SUPPORT

The FBI investigation concluded with no charges being laid against Brown in the U.S.

Defence lawyer Jeff Gindin argued Brown could have made a strong case for a delay of process motion had the case gone to trial and possibly win a judicial stay.

"I am in agreement that you would have had a credible argument on that point," Finlayson said.

Gindin submitted six letters of support to court. Letter writers included senior medical officials, business leaders and former Blue Bombers head coach Cal Murphy.

Following his release from jail, Brown is to serve three years supervised probation and perform 120 hours of community service work.

Brown's name will be included on the child abuse registry and the national sex offender registry for 10 years.

Finlayson also ordered that for the duration of his probation, Brown not have unsupervised contact with children under 18.

dean.pritchard@sunmedia.ca


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