© Gary Kean
Tristan Quinn, left, is led away to begin serving his two-year, less one day, sentence for sex-related charges in provincial court in Corner Brook on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013.
CORNER BROOK — A man who threatened to distribute photos of an underage teen girl was sent to prison for two years, less one day, in provincial court in Corner Brook Monday.
Tristan Quinn, 22, was 19 when he met two girls, who were 14 and 15 at the time of the offences in the spring of 2011.
According to an agreed statement of facts read into the record last May, when Quinn entered guilty pleas to four charges, the younger girl had sent him photos of herself in her bra and panties after his relentless requests for her to do so. He had also offered her money to send the photos.
The following day, Quinn and the girl had a sexual encounter after he gave her and the older girl a flask of rum each to drink. He refused to accept any money for the alcohol because he told the girls they were “beautiful.”
When the younger girl became quite intoxicated, she and Quinn left the group of people they were with and had a sexual encounter.
The day after that, Quinn told the younger girl she “owed” him a naked photograph of herself. He told her he would distribute the photos he had of her and tell “anyone that would listen” about their sexual encounter if she didn’t send him more explicit photographs.
One day later, Quinn began messaging the older girl, requesting first that she send him photographs. When she refused, he began offering her money — between $50 and $100. The messages progressed to asking the older girl to try and convince the younger girl to send more photos, again offering money for her to do so.
At one point, according to the statement of facts, Quinn gave her a deadline of when to send the photos or “everyone in (Corner Brook) will get the pics. she’ll be called names and they’ll know what we done.” In another message, Quinn wrote that the older teen should convince her friend “make the right choice.”
Would be in trouble
After finding out the younger girl had gone to the police about the situation, Quinn tried to dissuade her. He first told her she would be in trouble for taking the photos she did and taking money for doing so.
He then began offering her money, starting at $150 and then escalating to $500, or any amount she wanted, not to pursue charges.
The four charges Quinn entered guilty pleas to back in May included two counts of Internet luring, one count of sexual interference for having a sexual encounter with someone under the age of 16 and one count of counselling someone to commit an offence that was not committed.
The sentence of two years, less one day, plus two years of probation was a joint submission from Crown attorney Ed Ring and defence lawyer Gerard Martin.
Martin said Quinn was a “youthful adult offender” with no criminal record and said his client “can’t be considered a pedophile” like others who get involved inappropriately with such young victims.
Martin said Quinn thought the age of consent was 14, although the lawyer acknowledged that would never constitute a defence to the crime.
“I think he will suffer the consequences of this for a long, long time,” Martin told Judge Kymil Howe during the sentencing in provincial court Monday.
Before Howe adjourned for nearly an hour to consider her decision to accept the joint submission, Quinn did get a chance to address the court.
He apologized to the victims, saying he now realizes what he did was wrong.
He apologized to his family and friends for causing them embarrassment and to the court for wasting its resources dealing with him.
“I hope to get this behind me and be a productive member of society,” he said.
Neither of the victims were present in the court Monday and neither provided a victim impact statement.
Howe said the aggravating factors in the case were the supplying of alcohol to commit an offence and attempting to coerce the victims not to report the crimes to the police, but said the sentence suggested by the Crown and defence was within the range for such offences in Newfoundland and Labrador.