Troubling questions as Burnaby luring and sex assault suspect finally named
RCMP (File - Sean Amato/CTV News)
VANCOUVER -- A day after officials took the unusual step of not revealing the identity of a suspect facing multiple criminal charges, CTV News has learned the Burnaby, B.C., man accused in the online luring and sexual assault of a local child may have a disturbing history.
The B.C. Prosecution Service has now given the suspect's name as Sheldon James Lowney.
On Tuesday, Burnaby RCMP announced a Burnaby resident had been charged after allegedly befriending a female child he'd met online, arranging to meet her and then allegedly sexually assaulting her with a weapon while being in possession of a restricted weapon.
They didn't provide many details, citing a publication ban, but those bans are typically standard restrictions to protect the identity of alleged victims who are children or the subject of sex crimes — in this case, both — but the bans rarely include the name of the alleged offender.
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Court records reveal a man with the exact same name pleaded guilty to befriending teenaged girls online and to sexual interference in 2015, but the prosecution service won't confirm it's the same person now charged in the Burnaby case.
"The BCPS does not provide personal information about accused persons," said spokesperson Daniel McLaughlin in an email.
In the 2015 case, the late Justice B. M. Joyce heard the details in Chilliwack court, rendering a sentencing in July of that year.
Sheldon James Lowney pleaded guilty to meeting a 15-year-old girl on Nexopia and engaging in sex acts, some of which he recorded. When police searched his apartment, they found sexual videos of Lowney with another 15-year-old girl, who also could not lawfully consent due to her age.
He was sentenced to a concurrent sentence of 15 months for the first case of sexual interference, 14 for the second, plus four months for possession of marijuana for the purposes of trafficking and 30 days for breach of recognizance.
"There are a number of mitigating factors in this case. Mr. Lowney is a relatively young man with no prior criminal record. He has pleaded guilty to the offences and saved the need for a jury trial and the further harm that a trial would have caused, particularly to (the victim)," said Justice Joyce.
At the time, Crown had asked for Lowney's two-year probation to include limited contact with minors, but the judge disagreed.
"I am not satisfied that Mr. Lowney engaged in predatory conduct and I am of the view that he will likely not re-offend," said Justice Joyce. "I do not see the need for these restrictions.
Sheldon James Lowney of Burnaby is in custody and is scheduled to enter a plea at his next court appearance at Vancouver Provincial Court on June 25.