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Peter Alan Moorhouse tells sentencing hearing he only wanted to hurt himself

Blair Rhodes · CBC News · Posted: Feb 22, 2024 4:12 PM AST | Last Updated: February 22

Peter Alan Moorhouse, right, is seen at the provincial court in Shubenacadie, N.S., on Sept. 29, 2023. (Blair Rhodes/CBC)

Peter Alan Moorhouse, the former head of the Better Business Bureau in Atlantic Canada, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for sex offences involving a teenage girl.

The 50-year-old blamed his behaviour on sexual abuse he suffered when he was just 12.

Moorhouse and another man exchanged messages in which they described what they’d like to do to underage girls. The messages were so graphic they were considered pornography and sealed by the courts.

Moorhouse told the court during his sentencing hearing on Thursday afternoon that he assumed he and the other man, Carlos Moraga, were role playing. He said if he had known there was a real child involved, he never would have participated.

The child was not assaulted by Moorhouse. The court was told that another child mentioned in the exchange of messages didn’t really exist, and was part of Moorhouse’s fantasy.

Moraga pleaded guilty to sexual interference and making child pornography and was sentenced to 27 months in prison last June. 

In a lengthy address to the judge, Moorhouse said the only person he wanted to hurt was himself.

‘A ticking time bomb’

He said in an effort to cope with his emotions, he had reached out to men over the years to engage in similar role playing, with the aim of subjecting himself to humiliation.

Moorhouse told the court he should have sought help but didn’t. He said when he was charged three years ago, his whole world collapsed.

  • Former Atlantic BBB president changes plea to guilty on sexual offences

“My childhood experiences started a ticking time bomb and it went off, my entire life was blown up and people and organizations that I cared about were caught up in the explosions,” Moorhouse said.

He lost his job and many friends broke off contact with him, he said.

“My son, who had been the centre of my life for 17 years, legally changed his surname to avoid the stigma of being associated with me,” Moorhouse said.

Charter challenge dropped

His partner has stuck with him, he said, but she’s been forced to become the sole breadwinner for the couple because he has been unable to find much work. She has also had to endure hundreds of threatening messages sent to their home, he said.

Moorhouse pleaded guilty to one charge of child pornography and one charge of communicating for the purposes of facilitating an offence against a child. Both charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail.

  • Sentencing delayed again for former Better Business Bureau executive

Moorhouse had initially launched a charter challenge against the mandatory minimums. But during Thursday’s court appearance, his lawyer, Ian Hutchison, announced that Moorhouse was abandoning that challenge. Instead, Hutchison joined Crown prosecutor Terri Lipton in recommending a total sentence of two years in prison.

Judge Marc Chisholm accepted the recommendation.

In addition to the prison term, Moorhouse’s will be added to the national sex offender registry for 20 years and his DNA will be placed in a national databank.

By Admin

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