A CFB Shilo soldier who offered to pay a girl and woman to have sex with him and a dog — then sent them images of himself engaged in sex acts with a dog — has been sentenced to 90 days in jail.
The anonymous nature of the Internet makes the sharing of such obscene material tempting and a message needs to be sent, the sentencing judge said.
"There are two … women out there who were disturbed, upset and victimized by what you did," Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta said in Brandon court on Monday.
In December, 31-year-old Tyson Larry Shiels admitted to contacting a 17-year-old girl online in September via the Plenty of Fish website.
He then offered her $2,000 to have sex with him and his dog, and sent her a video of himself performing oral sex on a dog.
Plenty of Fish is supposed to be an adult website and users are meant to be 18 years or older, so Shiels may not have realized that the girl was a youth.
The second incident is similar.
Shiels contacted a woman on Plenty of Fish, also in September, and she was also offered $2,000 to have sex with him and his dog. Shiels sent her a photo of a dog licking his genitals.
According to police, the case that involved the teenage girl was reported to Brandon RCMP on Sept. 9.
Shiels had emailed the video to the victim, which allowed investigators to track him down.
Police raided his home on Sept. 28 and seized a pair of laptop computers, hard drives and 10 firearms.
A 26-year-old woman then contacted RCMP on Oct. 2 after reading in the media about the previous case.
She said she’d been contacted by a male via Plenty of Fish and his profile indicated he was with the Canadian military and stationed at CFB Shilo.
The woman was emailed a photograph of a black dog that was licking a man’s genitals.
In December, Shiels pleaded guilty to two counts of trying to solicit illicit sex and two counts of circulating obscene material.
Charges of bestiality were dropped in exchange to his pleas to the above offences.
Sentencing was then put to Monday to allow the preparation of a pre-sentence report to look at the possibility of a conditional sentence for Shiels.
Conditional sentences are described as jail terms served in the community, typically under house arrest.
Noting his client had no prior criminal record, defence lawyer Michael Dubois made a pitch for a six-month conditional sentence during Monday’s hearing.
If the court were to choose real jail instead, Dubois asked that his client be allowed to serve his time intermittently.
Dubois suggested that Shiels’ crimes may be the result of 18 months that he served in Afghanistan during a 10-year military career in which he served with distinction.
Shiels has been deployed to Afghanistan twice. He worked as an artillery soldier in his first tour; during his second tour he worked in command headquarters and called in artillery and air strikes.
Dubois said that, sometime after the charges were laid, Shiels moved off of base because he’d been forced from his vehicle, beaten "senseless" and left by the side of the road.
Dubois said Shiels, who currently holds the position of artilleryman, remains employed with the Department of National Defence.
However, a CFB Shilo spokesperson said Shiels’ employment at the base is under review and Shiels himself has said that he plans to leave the Department of National Defence.
He’s currently being assessed for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Operational Stress Injury.
Despite the facts previously read in cort, Shiels has denied ever having "sexual intercourse" with a dog, a denial that doesn’t affect the charges he has pleaded guilty to.
However, he admits that he developed an interest in sex with a dog after watching a porn movie. He researched the subject on the internet, in books and by watching movies.
In sentencing Shiels, Hewitt-Michta noted that he’d failed to share information with probation officials, making it difficult to determine the risk he poses to the public.
As a result, Hewitt-Michta rejected a conditional sentence, and rejected an intermittent sentence because it wouldn’t send a strong enough message.
Instead, Shiels was sentenced to 90 days straight time in a real jail, to be followed by two years probation.
During probation, he’s to take sex offender counselling and can’t have pets or be around animals unless it’s to pursue his work as a farrier.
He also can’t access the internet or have porn.
As for the dog in question — which a source had identified as possibly a black Labrador retriever — it’s no longer in Shiels’ household and has been adopted into another home.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 26, 2013