Former Main Street Church executive pastor John Vermeer’s trial for child pornography started July 23, 2019 has been beset by delays, but continued on March 4, 2020.

Former Main Street Church executive pastor John Vermeer’s trial for child pornography started July 23, 2019 has been beset by delays, but continued on March 4, 2020.

Chilliwack church pastor child porn trial hears from RCMP computer expert

‘Viruses are the result of the child pornography and viewing as opposed to the other way around’

The question of whether or not a computer virus can be used to download child pornography onto someone’s computer came up Wednesday in the long, drawn-out trial of a Chilliwack church pastor.

John (Johannes) Vermeer’s first court appearance of child porn charges from alleged images and videos found on computers at Main Street Church was on March 29, 2018.

His trial – which has been beset by delays – continued on March 4, 2020. On the witness stand that day, and on the last court date on Feb. 25 was RCMP forensic computer analyst Sgt. Lorena Rostie who answered detailed technical questions about how computer files are stored on, linked to, and deleted from computers.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack church pastor child porn trial continues

Crown counsel Teresa Mitchell-Banks wrapped up her questions to Sgt. Rostie asking if, in the course of the officer’s academic experience or her career in the RCMP, she had ever seen where a virus could download child pornography without the user knowing it.

“I’ve not seen anything like that,” Rostie told the court.

Mitchell-Banks asked if the officer had even heard of that happening, particularly over the course of days and years as is alleged in the case at bar. Rostie’s response was “no.”

“If someone is using child pornography and they get a virus, what is the most common source?” she asked.

“The child pornography,” Rostie responded. “In my experience, the viruses are the result of the child pornography and viewing as opposed to the other way around. I’ve never seen a virus download child pornography in my 10 years in tech crimes.”

The trial adjourned after testimony in the morning on March 4 and is set to resume March 10.

Vermeer had his first court appearance in provincial court almost two years ago on March 29, 2018 facing one count each of possession of child pornography and accessing child pornography from May 1, 2010, and the same charges from March 17, 2015.

Vermeer is the former executive pastor of Main Street Church, and the child pornography was discovered on computers at the church.

The highly technical trial is so far mostly focused on how the child pornography got onto the computers.

At the start of the trial, Crown counsel Teresa Mitchell-Banks explained that the IT firm found 81 files with names typical of child pornography. Evidence of more images and videos were later found, some on a laptop computer.

While there have already been several delays, Vermeer’s lawyer Michael Klein has not yet asked the court to consider a motion to dismiss charges under section 11(b) of the criminal code. Under the 2016 Jordan decision, the Supreme Court of Canada decreed that provincial court matters should take no longer than 18 months from charge approval to the end of trial.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack church pastor child porn trial faces multi-month delay


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parker Goddard, swinging at the ball) is wanting to hear from anyone interested in playing Spikeball. (Parker Goddard/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley Spikeball is looking for players

Local resident inviting people to try out a new hybrid sport – volleyball meets trampoline

Anne-Marie Walsh snapped this photo of farmland along Glover Road on Oct. 10 when the interesting clouds caught her attention.
SHARE: Clouds captivate in rural Langley

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Langley churches offer in-person services precisely because they care about people

Letter writer concerned Township councillor wants to punish churches with tax threat

Crows gather at in the cottonwoods of Sandra Kidder’s neighbour in Aldergrove every winter morning just before sunrise. (Sandra Kidder/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Aldergrove cottonwoods hosts morning murder of crows

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read