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November 3, 2011 permalink
A Bloomfield Ontario (Quinte area) couple turned their foster home for teenagers into a sex party. The couple will spend seven man-years behind bars, the same as Douglas Klasges ( link1 link2 link3 ), though their offenses seem less serious.
Ontario foster parents jailed for sex offences
PICTON, Ont. — A Bloomfield, Ont., couple who turned their home into a “sexual cult” while fostering 25 teenagers over the course of three years will spend a total of seven years in prison.
The couple — who cannot be named under a publication ban — pleaded guilty to several charges including possession of child pornography, sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching earlier this fall and were sentenced in the Ontario court of justice Tuesday.
In an agreed statement of facts, court heard the teens fostered by the couple were often involved in parties with the couple that featured sexual activities, consumption of alcohol and exchanging of sexual toys as gifts. Girls as young as 15 were encouraged to practice oral sex on wine bottle necks and the husband would sometimes grab the girls’ breasts.
Crown attorney Jodi Whyte, in reading the facts, said one teen called the home a “sexual cult” where there were no boundaries. The victims, she added, were subjected to a “cult like” atmosphere and were “manipulated” to the benefit of the couple.
John Ecclestone, who represented the wife, told the court there is no doubt the home fostered inappropriate sexual boundaries but also argued “it could have been very, very much worse than it was.” He noted there was no violence in the home and no “ongoing rape or buggery.”
“It’s not as if we’re talking about someone who was seven-years-old,” Ecclestone said.
Though Judge Geoff Griffin agreed there is a difference, he pointed out the law is the law and the couple, without question, committed offences and used their positions of authority and trust over the children.
In delivering his sentence, Griffin said he would take into account both accused entered guilty pleas but admitted his decision was hard to formulate.
Griffin said the pair breached their positions of trust and welcomed the children into their home and used them for their own joy and sexual satisfaction. These children had been placed in their home by the Children’s Aid Society as “vulnerable” youth, some of whom had come from homes where they had been sexually assaulted, he said.
Griffin also questioned the CAS’s apparent ignorance to what was taking place at the home. He said in a small community such as Prince Edward County, it is difficult to believe no one knew what was taking place.
“I hope the public demands there be an inquiry into what took place at the home,” Griffin said.
The 48-year-old woman will serve three years in prison. She was ordered to provide a DNA sample and will be included in the Sex Offender Registry. In addition, any photographs or videos she has featuring any of the foster children — whether pornographic in nature or not — will be handed over to the Crown.
Her 45-year-old husband received a sentence of four years in prison. Like his wife, he is now included on the Sex Offender Registry and had to provide a DNA sample. In addition, he has a 10-year weapons prohibition.
Source: Toronto Sun
Addendum: An editorial in the Belleville Intelligencer names the foster parents as Joe and Janet Turner Holm. The judge in the case, Geoff Griffin, has asked for the one thing certain not to happen: a public inquiry into the case. CAS will stonewall citing confidentiality, and the public will never know whether this was a case of trifling sex-play or repeated rape.
Griffin gets it right in call for inquiry
In a court system where judges are often burdened by too many cases, questionable precedents, odd sentencing protocols and an apparent "fast food" approach to justice, it is heartening to know those on the bench can still provide wisdom and insight.
Such was the case Wednesday when Justice Geoff Griffin sentenced a Bloomfield couple who had turned their home into a "sexual cult" while fostering 25 teenagers over the course of nine years.
Joe and Janet Holm plead guilty to several charges including possession of child pornography, sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching earlier this fall.
Janet, 48, will serve three years in prison while Joe, 45, received a sentence of four years in prison. Both are also included on the Sex Offender Registry and had to provide a DNA sample.
While some might argue those terms are too short, Griffin, in delivering his sentence, acknowledged taking into account both accused entered guilty pleas. He also admitted his decision was hard to formulate.
"The difficulty I have is showing restraint," Griffin said. "What took place here is so outrageous that it boggles the mind. This is so troubling that it becomes difficult to put into words how horrendous it is."
More importantly, Griffin also questioned the Children's Aid Society's apparent ignorance to what was taking place at the home. He said in a small community such as Prince Edward County it is difficult to believe no one knew what was taking place.
"This happened here in Prince Edward County. I hope the public demands there be an inquiry into what took place at the home," Griffin said.
Children's Aid Societies everywhere face incredible challenges when it comes to both fostering and adopting of children, namely too many children and too few resources, both financial and in terms of people willing to take on the task of raising children.
That being said, CAS has a responsibility to the children involved and society as a whole to be constantly vigilant in ensuring the children placed in their care are not put in harm's way by those entrusted to care for them.
To do so not only endangers those children specifically, it discredits the system generally, risking the lives of those who might shun entering the system at all as well as discouraging others who might otherwise step forward to foster or adopt.
Griffin is absolutely right that this situation requires an inquiry to find out how such a horrendous crime could be allowed to take place and to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Our trust in CAS and the future of too many children absolutely demand it.
Source: Belleville Intelligencer