Child Porn Drives Software Developer to Murder

Gretchen Gallen
LAKE ONTARIO, Canada – A software developer pleaded guilty Thursday to murdering a 10-year-old girl at his Lake Ontario home after downloading child porn from the Internet.

The man, 36-year-old Michael Briere, was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty by a Canadian court of sexually assaulting and then murdering and dismembering Holly Jones in May 2003. Briere was arrested one month later after investigators matched Briere's DNA from a soda can to skin found under the victim's fingernails. He had no previous criminal record.

Briere told the court and Crown Counsel Paul Culver that he was driven to attack the girl after viewing child porn, which he referred to as his "dark secret."

Briere also confessed that his attack on Holly was random. He saw her walking home from school and dragged her into his apartment where he assaulted and then strangled and dismembered her, keeping the body overnight and removing it the next day in two gym bags.

"What I did was absolutely wrong," Briere said immediately following his sentencing. "It was cruel. It cannot be justified. It was meaningless and senseless. I accept this sentence because I fully realize the pain which I have caused. I realize that I must be punished for this terrible wrong that I have done. I also realize that society wants to be protected from me and my behavior."

According to reports, the parents of the victim have decided to dedicate themselves to fighting child pornography and encouraging Canadian lawmakers to enact tougher child pornography legislation. The family is presently working on recommendations for changing Canada's child porn laws called "Holly's Law."

The Jones family said in a statement that while some argue that child pornography is constitutionally protected speech, Parliament needs to tighten up its child pornography legislation by giving full constitutional weight to children's equality and privacy rights and by adopting zero tolerance for child pornography.

"I have no idea of anyone, at least in the adult entertainment industry, who would argue that child pornography is constitutionally protected speech," said Joan Irvine, executive director of Adult Sites Against Child Pornography. "It is immoral and illegal. It is sexual child abuse and ruins the lives of these helpless children. This man is an extremely sick person and a murderer."

Irvine added: "If it was the viewing of child pornography that caused him to act out his underlying illness, this is just more of a reason for ASACP, its Approved Members, Sponsors and the many surfers who report suspect child pornography to increase their diligence in the battle against child pornography and to protect children."