Former Salvation Army officer also faces charges in Newfoundland
WARNING: Graphic content
© Diane Crocker
Donnie Snook is seen in provincial court in Corner Brook on Tuesday.
By APRIL CUNNINGHAM
New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal
SAINT JOHN – One of Donnie Snook’s victims was a friend of Snook’s foster child, who he had met through his work with the Chicken Noodle Club and Kid Zone, provincial court in Saint John, N.B. heard on Thursday.
The boy was between the ages of nine and 15 when the abuse took place, in the longest span of molestation Snook has admitted to, Crown prosecutor Karen Lee Lamrock said.
Over the years, Snook, a former city councillor and youth ministry leader, performed sex acts on the child, and recorded video as the child performed sexual acts with other children.
“As (the child) got older, (Snook) became less attracted to the child,” Lamrock told Judge Alfred Brien. Snook became worried the child might disclose the activities if he stopped his involvement. As the abuse continued, Snook would offer financial incentives to the child along with free trips to beaches and parks.
Eventually, the child would reciprocate by performing sexual acts on Snook.
When the child – one ofSnook’s 17 victims – was questioned by police, he said he was never forced to do anything.
“As he got older, he became participatory in the abuse of other children, along with Mr. Snook,” Lamrock said.
The details around the abuse of that child are the first in several accounts expected to be relayed in court this afternoon as Snook’s sentencing hearing continues.
He has admitted guilt to 46 counts of child sex abuse, including making and sharing child pornography.
The judge viewed several child pornography images and videos seized from Snook’s computers and hard-drives from a large television screen facing away from the gallery. Lamrock said she wanted to avoid re-victimizing any of the children.
Snook’s lawyer, Dennis Boyle, said Snook had decided not to view the images again. He had already viewed them during his statements with police.
Lamrock said she would leave the sound turned on because she felt it was relevant to understand how Snook interacted with his victims.
“The most disturbing aspect is how the children engage in language that would not be permissible by their parents,” Lamrock said.
Audio was muffled but it was possible to hear children laughing and often, Snook shushing them. Lamrock said this was because Snook’s roommate was often home while the children were present.
She also described children consuming alcohol that Snook had provided.
In one of the videos viewed by the judge, children are viewing pornography together, Lamrock said.
“The item being used in the video is an iPad provided by the City of Saint John,” Lamrock said.
Earlier in the hearing, Lamrock explained how police had seized several images from Snook’s hard-drives after a lengthy investigation that started in March 2011.
In total, police seized 14,457 images and 620 videos.
An SD card from a camera held 15 videos that Snook had filmed.
“These are the images of individuals who have been identified as victims for this matter, for the most part,” Lamrock said.
Lamrock detailed how police had arrested Snook on Jan. 9, 2013, at his Martha Avenue home. Moments earlier, he was communicating with an undercover police officer online and had promised to bring one of “his boys” online for a video chat.
When police arrested Snook, a boy was in the home.
The hearing is expected to continue all day.