Former Queen’s student pleads guilty to possession of obscene images

Omar T. El Shazly confesses to accessing, possessing and distributing pornographic images of children

Omar T. El Shazly was prosecuted for obscenity only.

On Monday, former Queen’s student Omar T. El Shazly plead guilty to possession and distribution of pornographic images of children. 

He received the lesser charge of possessing obscene images, earning him 175 days in jail and three years of probation. 

El Shazly attended École Secondaire Toronto before becoming an engineering student at Queen’s in 2016. 

The first steps to his arrest began when the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre detected a transmission of 14 suspicious images over Skype from a Queen’s IP address. 

The RCMP notified Kingston Police, who used a search warrant to enter El Shazly’s dorm room on Mar. 10. Investigators discovered 37 unique images on El Shazly’s computer and a USB stick that met the legal definition of child pornography. 

He was expelled from Queen’s and at first charged with accessing, possessing, and distributing child pornography.

Although El Shazly confessed to sharing the images in online chat rooms, his defence lawyer told Kingston’s Ontario Court of Justice it was the first time El Shazly had “succumbed” to the online pressure from fellow pedophiles. 

He also argued El Shazly had only turned to these websites against the backdrop of failing grades. 

El Shazly’s lawyer told Justice Allan Letourneau the majority of the victims in the pictures were naked girls between the ages of 12-15. 

According to Assistant Crown Attorney, Jennifer Ferguson, police characterized the images as “not constituting the extreme.”

El Shazly’s lawyer told the court there were a few exceptions, including an image that portrayed two girls engaged in a sex act and another that involved a girl and a dog. 

He then argued El Shazly’s crimes were committed only two weeks after his 18th birthday, and he was simply pursuing an attraction to girls his age.

Ferguson also agreed there’s a “qualitative difference” between someone El Shazly’s age viewing these images and someone much older. 

For this reason, El Shazly was prosecuted for obscenity only. Had he been convicted of the original charges, he would have likely faced a tougher sentence, potentially including deportation. 

While El Shazly serves probation, Justice Letourneau ordered he must participate in sexual behaviour counselling, specifically focused on discouraging him from the consumption and distribution of child pornography.

Other requirements of his probation include the installation of pornography-blocking software on his devices. He must also turn over all device passwords to his probation officer, who will be able to inspect El Shazly’s computer and phone on demand. 

El Shazly won’t be allowed to mask his identity on the internet or subscribe to any service involving child pornography. Additionally, he can’t have contact with any person under the age of 16 without the supervision of a responsible adult. 

A sexual risk assessment submitted to the Court indicates that El Shazly is unlikely to reoffend. 

El Shazly told the judge he hopes to return to Queen’s in 2019 to continue his degree.

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