A Manitoba woman says she had to start “thinking like a predator,” after a man she met online tried to convince her to feed her young daughter alcohol so he could sexually assault the girl.
“This incident has made me very fearful, paranoid and overprotective of not only my child but of all children,” the woman, identified as B.C., wrote in a victim impact statement provided to court for the sentencing of Selkirk resident Cody Schofield.
Schofield, 33, pleaded guilty to one count each of child luring, possession of child pornography and making written child pornography.
He was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison.
Court heard Schofield reached out to the woman over the messaging app Snapchat in January 2020. B.C. ignored his messages, and he started insulting her. When B.C. replied, Schofield began sending her sexual images of himself and said he was attracted to young girls.
Wanting more information so she could alert authorities, B.C. continued communicating with Schofield.
“It feels like I have to think like a predator to protect my kids from predators,” B.C. wrote in her victim impact statement.
Schofield provided B.C. with his first name, said he was from Selkirk and began sending her child sex abuse material.
Schofield said he wanted to have sex with B.C.’s daughter and asked the mother to give the girl alcohol so he could sexually assault her. He said he also wanted to have sex with B.C. while her daughter watched.
B.C. took a screenshot of Schofield’s messages before they disappeared, a distinctive feature of Snapchat, and in March 2020 contacted Cybertip.ca, a national tip line for reports of child sexual abuse.
By June 2020, B.C. had received no reply from Cybertip.ca, at which point she posted the screenshot on Facebook with a warning to the community and an appeal for police to take action.
The following month, Schofield uploaded child sex abuse imagery to Snapchat, triggering a report by the social media platform to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
RCMP secured a search warrant for Schofield’s home and seized two cellphones containing more than 80 child sexual abuse images and videos and sexual chats with teenage girls. Sex abuse material included images provided to Schofield by children he had contacted.
In one text conversation, Schofield encouraged a 16-year-old Texas girl to run away from home so he could bring her to Canada and impregnate her.
According to a psychological report prepared for court, Schofield is borderline impaired intellectually and suffers from auditory hallucinations and several depressive symptoms that are precursors to schizophrenia.
Schofield blamed his actions on an addiction to drugs and alcohol, a claim corroborated by his mother, who said in a pre-sentence report he began abusing substances four years ago.
“It is likely that substance use, in concert with his cognitive deficits, significantly impaired (Schofield’s) judgment,” psychologist Dr. David Kolton testified at an earlier hearing.
Kolton said while Schofield meets the criteria for schizophrenia, the disorder did not play a role in his crimes.
Manitoba Court of King’s Bench Justice Jeffrey Harris said he was satisfied Schofield’s cognitive deficits impaired his judgment, but the man clearly knew what he did was wrong “and persisted nonetheless.”
“He cautioned his targets not to tell anyone about what he was doing because it was illegal,” Harris said.
“He used a social media platform which caused his messages to B.C. to disappear after receipt. He knew what he was doing was wrong … and took steps to erase his tracks.”
Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.
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