Online predator sorry for webcam sex

MEGAN GILLIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET

OTTAWA - The Crown is seeking up to 10 years for a self-admitted predator who used an elaborate trap of fake identities, threats and blackmail to force teen girls to make child pornography via webcam.

Ryan McCann, who's seeking half that time, rose in the prisoner's box at his sentencing hearing Wednesday to apologize to a courtroom crowded with his victims on one side and his parents and sisters on the other.

He said he now knows that he sought others to control because he couldn't control himself.

"I became a predator, seeking out vulnerable young girls who ended up putting their trust in me and I used it against them for my own pleasure," he said.

"I ended up stripping them of their innocence."

McCann, who's slight and shook at times during the hearing, said he's no longer the same person and will never be before the courts again.

"I don't want people to look at me as a monster," he said.

McCann, 20, pleaded guilty to 26 charges involving 19 victims, all but one under 18 and some as young as 14, including extorting them into making child pornography, invitation to sexual touching and threatening death between June 2008 and March 2009.

Two girls who were too young to consent performed oral sex on him.

Police say they've identified 22 victims across Ontario.

The Kanata teen hooked girls with promises of easy money then tricked and threatened them into performing degrading "shows" for clients of his purported company, Talen's Playground.

But only McCann was watching them penetrate themselves with hairbrushes, mimic oral sex and write "dirty slut" or "fat ass" on their bodies. He posed as 11 different people -- including one who had people killed -- threatened to release their videos on the Internet and stole their identities to recruit new victims.

A psychiatric report concluded that McCann used sex and pornography to cope with "stressors" in his life.

Defence lawyer Trevor Brown said that, like a drug addict, McCann has failed at first to deal with his problems but is committed to seeking help and regularly contacts his pastor.

He asked for five to seven years, urging Judge Celynne Dorval not to "crush" McCann's future.

"What we don't want to see is a young person who becomes institutionalized and unable to return to society," he said. "It is too early to throw away the key for Mr. McCann."

Prosecutors, seeking eight to 10 years, stressed that McCann circled in on the most vulnerable teens then ruthlessly exploited them, even forcing them to keep performing as they cried in pain.

He left them fearing, some to this day, that their lives were at risk and, although only one video was proven to be disseminated, that their shame could circulate on the Internet forever, David Elhadad said.

"The question they ask is are my videos still out there?" he said. "We'll never know."

The hearing continues Thursday.

megan.gillis@sunmedia.ca


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