"An Ottawa artist who helped animate children’s TV shows has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for possessing more than 60,000 images of child pornography and sharing them online.
Tom Wysom, 55, has worked on TV productions such as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Wysom was sentenced earlier this month after pleading guilty to the charges in December, two months after police executed a search warrant at his home in Old Ottawa South.
Police found 60,165 pictures — many of them duplicates — along with 1,626 videos, some of which depicted adults engaging in sexual behaviours with children. In some of the images, young girls had their hands and feet bound.
In a pre-sentence report, presented to court, Wysom told a probation officer that he developed an addiction to adult pornography about a decade ago, but slowly became desensitized to it and “needed something more.” He turned to child pornography, Wysom said, which became a way to deal with his clinical depression and other medical issues.
A forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Gray, conducted a sexual behaviours assessment of Wysom, and concluded he had a “pedophilic disorder.” Wysom told Gray he turned to child porn in response to the untreated stress he was experiencing.
[Kudos to the judge for this at least]
Justice David Berg took exception to Wysom’s attempt to blame outside forces for his behaviour.
“I think that you are still quite far from comprehending that the problem is you and only you,” the judge told Wysom in his decision. “I think that you are still trying to rationalize your behaviour to yourself and to others in the face of society’s reaction to what you have done.”
The judge told Wysom he could have erased the images on his computer and sought professional help, but chose instead to continue on his destructive path because “he didn’t think he would get caught.”
“The stressors in his life may have led him to throw caution to the wind, but the stressors did not create in Mr. Wysom an ability to take pleasure from those images. That ability pre-existed the stressors,” Berg said.
Court heard that Wysom was born and raised in Wales, where he worked as a postal clerk. He came to Canada in 1992, and hitch-hiked and camped his way across the country before becoming a permanent resident in 1996. He has studied fine art and commercial animation, and once had his work featured at Ottawa’s Cube Gallery.
[Delusional psychiatrist] Dr. Gray told the court that Wysom is a low risk to re-offend or have sexual contact with children.
The judge said he had to sentence Wysom to a prison term — a sentence of two years or more — in order to sufficiently denounce his conduct and deter others from the same path.
Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal for Ontario noted there are now so many reports of child porn-related crime in Ottawa that investigators have to triage their work by “how bad the child pornography is.” Offenders regularly access child porn through peer-to-peer and encrypted internet networks.
Wysom was arrested after a member of the Ottawa Police Service’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit conducted an investigation of a file sharing network with an IP address in Ottawa."
"For the uninitiated, My Little Pony is a toy and merchandise enterprise that first became popular in the ’80s, but experienced resurgence in 2010 when the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic [on which Wysom worked] popularized the franchise for a new generation of little girls. And also, apparently, adult men.
These adult men call themselves Bronies."
"The friends we spoke with said Bronies are often accused of being pedophiles - a claim they say is unfair and makes no sense. They say the fascination with the show comes first and foremost for the "beautiful" animation."