Marcella Bernardo | Email news tips to Marcella
A Burnaby man ordered to spend more than a decade in prison for sexually exploiting girls in another country has lost his bid to have his 11-year sentence reduced.
Kenneth Robert Klassen was hoping the BC Court of Appeal would rule the trial judge erred by not giving more weight to his guilty plea.
The now-60 year old admitted to committing 14 counts of sex with girls under 14 in Colombia and Cambodia, as well as one count of importing child pornography.
His lawyer argued the sentence --the longest for a sex-tourism case in Canada-- was too strong for a 'first-time' offender, but prosecutors pointed out Klassen deliberately travelled to countries where young girls can be easily exploited.
The province's highest court has now dismissed his bid to have the sentence reduced to seven years, maintaining the trial judge gave the guilty plea sufficient consideration as a mitigating factor.
The former international art dealer was arrested in 2004, after mailing himself a package containing child pornography from the Philippines.
His trial was Canada's third sex tourism case.