Former Kamloops sheriff to be sentenced in Kelowna today

Former Kamloops sheriff to be sentenced in Kelowna today
Former Kamloops sheriff caught in sex-related sting to be sentenced today
Kevin Johnston, 50, was employed in Kamloops as a deputy with the B.C. Sheriff Service when he was arrested. FACEBOOK

A Kamloops sheriff who was arrested after being caught in an online sex sting is scheduled to be sentenced today in Kelowna Provincial Court.

Kevin Johnston, 50, was arrested in 2016 after attempting to arrange a sexual encounter with a person posing online as a 14-year-old girl.

Kamloops This Week reported that Johnston, a deputy with the B.C. Sheriff Service at the time of his arrest, began communicating online in August 2016 with an adult woman posing as a teenaged girl name “Steph’ as part of a vigilante group, Creep Hunters, aimed at exposing potential sexual predators.

In October, Johnston, who served 12 years as a sheriff, pleaded guilty to one count of breach of trust by a peace officer. The sexual charges he was facing are expected to be stayed once he is sentenced.

“In those communications, Mr. Johnston turned the conversation to sex,” the agreed statement of facts reads. “He sent two pictures of his penis and a full-frontal nude shot to Steph. He told her that he was a sheriff in Kamloops and sent photographs of himself in uniform and pictures of himself in the locker room at work.”

He was then confronted by members of the Kelowna Creep Hunters at a strip mall where he thought was going to meet “Steph.” The Aug. 27, 2016 confrontation was recorded and posted online.

In a joint submission, the prosecution and defence are both recommending a sentence of four months of house arrest.

Kevin Johnston pleaded guilty to breach of trust last month, after being caught in an August 2016 online sting when he sent inappropriate messages to who he thought was an underage girl.

Both Crown and defence lawyers asked for a conditional sentence order for Johnston in last months hearing — an order which usually includes a period of house arrest.

Johnston was originally facing charges of telecommunication to lure a child under 16 years old, making sexually explicit material available to a person under 16, and arrange or agree on a sexual offence against a child.

The charges came after a sting produced by the Kelowna Creep Hunters group, which imitated underage people online to expose potential predators.