Search warrants to be unsealed in Snook case
Published Friday, February 8, 2013 6:52PM AST
More details will soon be released in the case of a former Saint John councillor charged with child porn.
Today, a judge granted the request to have search warrants made public in the Donnie Snook case, but not before redactions are made.
Snook’s lawyer did not object to the search warrants being unsealed.
Snook, 41, is facing three counts of sexual interference on a child under 16 years of age, two counts of possession of child pornography, one count of making child pornography and two counts of making child pornography available.
Four search warrants were approved by judges in the case, at the request of a member of the police department’s family protection unit.
Police first searched Snook’s Martha Avenue home on Jan. 9.
They seized several items, including computer equipment and child sexual abuse images, during their search. Snook was arrested at the scene.
Police also executed search warrants at his home on Jan. 10, Jan. 15 and Jan. 18.
In the days following his arrest, the search warrant documents were sealed by judges to protect the identity of Snook’s alleged victims.
“We were hoping to have the sealing orders lifted and it is what we were hoping for and we’re happy with the result,” says Mark Iype, senior editor at the Telegraph-Journal, which filed the application to have the warrants released.
Some of the information will be blacked out. Police have a week to remove any sensitive information.
Mary Ann Campbell, director of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John campus, says it’s essential to keep the identities of minors concealed.
“Whenever you’re dealing with children you want to protect their welfare. You want to protect their safety,” she says.
“But also, really their emotional welfare, and when other people come to know that they’ve been a potential victim of a crime, it can be very difficult to have other people pry into your business.”
Snook stepped down from council shortly after he was arrested, leaving the seat for his ward empty. Other council members say they are looking forward to having it filled after the municipal election on May 13.
“Donnie had a lot of positive input in a lot of the discussions and I personally think it’s a big hole to fill, but the city will carry on,” says Coun. Bill Farren.
Snook remains behind bars after waiving his right to a bail hearing earlier this month.
He is expected to return to court for election and pleas on March 11.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ashley Dunbar