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Metro Vancouver nurse pleads guilty to child pornography possession

Police located more than a million images and 15,000 videos of children on Derek Paul Roelofsen's computers.
Vancouver Provincial Court
Vancouver Provincial Courthouse

A Vancouver Provincial Court judge July 25 reserved judgment in the case of a former Vancouver Coastal Health nurse who has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

According to an October 2021 court information, Derek Paul Roelofsen, 45, had been charged with possession of child pornography; making, printing, publishing or possessing of child pornography for the purpose of publication; and possessing child pornography for transmitting, making available or distributing.

He pleaded guilty to the first charge May 5, 2022.

The Crown sought sought a 12-month conditional sentence order to be followed by a three-year probation order with extensive conditions to be attached to both.

The Crown also sought some ancillary orders, including DNA collection and a 20-year Sex Offender Information Registration Act order.

Defence lawyer Don Muldoon suggested a conditional sentence order of one year with four months’ house arrest and eight months with heavy restrictions and curfew as well as three years’ probation.

The court heard several times that while Roelofsen has referred to himself as a pedophile, he has denied ever having had sexual contact with a child.

It was alleged the offence took place between April 11, 2015 and June 25, 2020.

Crown prosecutor Louise Krivel told Judge James Sutherland that police located more than a million images and 15,000 videos of children on Roelofsen’s computers.

“He’s admitted he’s a pedophile,” Krivel said.

Roelofsen, a former registered practical nurse working with children and youth in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority region, was caught when a chat service provider noticed a message about children being molested and flagged it to the Vancouver Police Department.

Krivel said Roelofsen was also involved in the school system and sexual health education.

The court heard the details of some message exchanges Roelofsen had with others. Some contain disturbing sexualized violence involving children and Glacier Media has chosen not to repeat them.

In one case, Roelofsen and another discussed the need for secrecy.

Roelofsen faces a sentence with conditions restricting his access to people under 18 as well as restrictions on how he may use the internet.

Muldoon questioned some restrictions, saying Roelofsen is socially isolated.

“The internet is his lifeline,” Muldoon said.

In reserving his decision, Sutherland addressed Roelofsen.

He said he needed to review reports and lawyers’ submissions to craft his sentence.

“It’s important in terms of how the court communicates its decision,” the judge said. “It’s important it’s clearly understood, the logic is clearly understood.”

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