By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — A man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing six boys and showing pornography to them and other boys in a northern Manitoba community.
Arnold Collier, 54, admitted in a Winnipeg courtroom Tuesday to the sex assaults between 2017 and 2020. Court heard the victims were all under the age of 16 and Indigenous.
Collier also pleaded guilty to breaching court orders that he not contact a previous victim from a 2018 conviction or associate with anyone under 16.
There is a publication ban on information that could identify the victims or witnesses. The Canadian Press is not identifying the community where the abuse happened.
The Crown prosecutor and defence lawyer said they will submit a joint recommendation of 22 years in prison, minus credit for time Collier has already served in custody.
He is to be sentenced in Thompson, Man., on Dec. 1.
Collier sat quietly in the back of the small courtroom as a long statement of facts was read into the record.
Collier is originally from New Brunswick. He moved back and forth from the Maritimes to the northern Manitoba community where he workedas a mechanic.
He was convicted of sexual interference in 2018 and was ordered not to have contact with children or the original victim.
Court heard that people still saw boys coming and going from his home after the conviction. Court also heard girls were never allowed at the house.
The boys were from impoverished homes, the statement said. It said Collier would give them marijuana, beer and cigarettes. He would also give them money and have them sleep over, court heard.
He would ask the boys to watch a movie but instead put on pornographic videos, the statement said.
In some cases, Collier would ask the boys for sexual favours or if he could perform sexual acts on them, the statement said. Court heard some complied, feeling they had to to keep receiving gifts. Other times he would touch the boys while they were sleeping, court heard.
One of the boys told police about the abuse in August 2020. Soon after, several others came forward and Collier was arrested.
Following Collier’s arrest, RCMP said that providing gifts is a common way offenders groom their victims.
“What occurred in this small community is devastating,” RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre said at the time.