An online marketing consultant who has worked with some bigname corporate clients has been sentenced to serve 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to Internet luring.
Ian Edward Ruddle, 45, of North Vancouver, was handed the sentence in North Vancouver provincial court after admitting he chatted online with someone he thought was a 14 year-old girl in a sexual manner.
In fact, the "girl" was really an undercover police officer posing as a teen in a Yahoo online chat room.
Ruddle's defence lawyer David Forsyth said his client is a sex addict with an addiction to
pornography, but added Ruddle is not a pedophile.
Prosecutor Lindsay Herron said all of the online conversations happened between Aug. 20 and Dec. 2, 2012 while Ruddle was either at home, in his Edgemont office or travelling on business in the U.S. During the conversations, Ruddle sometimes trained a webcam on himself while describing for the "teen" what it might feel like if she was sexually aroused.
In one chat session, he asked her is she had "warm feelings" and told her to "think about that tonight while you're in bed. Send me an email and tell me about it."
In another chat session when Ruddle was in New York on business he gave the "girl" specific instructions on how to masturbate and asked how she'd feel about sexually exploring with him. He then demonstrated on the webcam how she should rub her chest.
RCMP used Ruddle's IP address to track him to his home and office in North Vancouver, then executed a search warrant at both places while Ruddle was still out of the country.
Ruddle was arrested when he returned to Canada and confessed to police immediately, said Herron.
Herron said Ruddle told officers he never intended to have sex with a teenage girl.
Forsyth said Ruddle acted out of "sexual compulsion" as a sex addict who was in online chat rooms about five hours a day during that six-month period.
He said Ruddle never tried to meet the "teen" and no child pornography was found on his computer. He added the online chat sessions were "bad" but not "graphic" in content. A psychologist concluded Ruddle is not specifically attracted to young girls and is a low risk to re-offend.
Judge Steven Merrick handed Ruddle the mandatory minimum sentence - 90 days in jail - to be served intermittently on weekends, plus three years probation.
Merrick said Ruddle's lack of prior criminal record, early guilty plea and the fact he has sought treatment for his sexual addictions were factors in his decision.
While on probation, Ruddle is only allowed to access the Internet for work purposes. He is also banned from work or employment with children under 16, must stay away from schools, parks and recreation centres where children are likely to be present, and must not be in the presence of any girls under 16 unless another adult is present.
Ruddle's online profile lists him as having been a marketing strategist to some major U.S. corporations including Sony. Merrick has allowed Ruddle - who is a dual Canadian/U.S. citizen - to travel to the U.S. in December to meet with clients.
© Copyright 2013