Less than a month ago, convicted child sex offender Chris Snow sat in the dock in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Room No. 4 in St. John’s and wept as the judge sent him to prison for 10 years.
Monday morning, Chris Snow’s son, David Snow, kept his head lowered as he appeared by videolink in the same courtroom, while his lawyer entered not guilty pleas on his behalf to 20 charges of sex crimes against children, similar but unrelated to his father’s.
David Snow, 36, spoke only three times throughout his arraignment, never raising his head.
“Yes, Sir,” he responded to Justice Alphonsus Faour when asked if he could hear the proceedings, if he was content with his lawyer to enter the pleas and if he understood what was to happen next.
David Snow has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual interference, exposing his genitals to a child younger than 16, observing a person for a sexual purpose, making child pornography and possessing child pornography, in connection with a series of incidents alleged to have happened between 2011 and 2015.
He had been expected to plead guilty as part of a plea deal, based on what his lawyer told the court in November.
“I’m trying to work it out with the Crown,” Shelley Senior told the judge at that time. “I’m not expecting this to go to trial.”
David Snow has elected for a judge alone to hear his trial, which has been set to happen over four weeks, exactly a year from now. Nine witnesses are expected to testify, all of them teenagers.
David Snow, who is in custody at the Bishop’s Falls Correctional Centre, was arrested in New Brunswick in September 2016 and brought to this province to face a judge.
Chris Snow, 69, was sentenced Dec. 20 to 10 years in federal prison for repeated sexual assaults on five children during the 1960s and ’70s. In sentencing Chris Snow on 12 counts involving indecent assaults and acts of gross indecency, Justice William Goodridge told him his actions were “cruel and despicable, among the worst things you could ever do,” and noted he had preyed on his victims, some as young as six years old, while they had no way of escaping.