Philip Chicoine pleads guilty to 40 child pornography charges

A Saskatoon man, who police believe helped orchestrate livestreamed child pornography, has pleaded guilty to 40 of the 63 child porn-related offences he was charged with.

Philip Michael Chicoine, 27, entered the guilty pleas via video in Saskatoon Provincial Court Friday.

He’s accused of 10 different sets of crimes and pleaded guilty to at least one count of each crime he’s charged with. Chicoine pleaded guilty to 14 counts of distributing child pornography, seven counts of luring, and six counts conspiracy to commit sexual assault and make child pornography. He also pleaded guilty to five counts each of agreeing to commit a sexual offence against a child and making sexually explicit material available to a child, and one count each of possession of child pornography, making it and accessing it.

He was originally charged with 19 offences in March, but after continued investigation he was hit with an additional 44 charges earlier this month.

The Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation Unit stated in a media release in March that the investigation into Chicoine began in early February after child pornography was uploaded to a social media account he operated.

Police believe he arranged video access and facilitated livestreamed child pornography with help from women in the Philippines and Romania, the media release stated.

Chicoine was communicating with children and women in the Philippines and paying them for livestreamed sexual abuse of children and for previously recorded abuse material, according to police. Police said the information was uncovered from a device seized March 9.

He was also trading child abuse material with other people in North America through social media, police alleged.

Police in the Philippines are still investigating.

Suspects in Romania have been arrested and charged, and authorities in the country confirm the children involved are safe, according to the Saskatchewan ICE Unit.

The additional 23 charges laid against Chicoine are expected to be withdrawn at the conclusion of sentencing.

A pre-sentencing report has been ordered to examine Chicoine's risk of reoffending, treatment options and his mental health. 

A sentencing hearing has been set for June 19.