Smith trial underway

The trial of Don Smith, a Woodyatt man accused of creating and distributing obscene material in October, 2000, began at the Fort Frances Courthouse on Monday.
Smith is facing five charges, including two counts of making videotapes featuring undue exploitation of sex and violence, one count of possessing similar material on a computer for the purposes of distribution, and two counts of distributing obscene matter via a Web site.
The trial, which is scheduled to last at least four weeks, began Monday with the statement of facts. Two witnesses—investigating Det. Sgt. Scott Gobeil and psychiatrist Dr. Peter O. Collins—then took the stand yesterday.
Prosecuting Crown Attorney Christine Bartlett-Hughes questioned Dr. Collins, who was brought in as an expert on sexual deviance and who also has worked with the OPP and other law enforcement agencies in the past covering cases as varied as sexual homicides and crimes against children to arsons and bombings.
Bartlett-Hughes asked whether the evidence Dr. Collins has examined in the Smith case was the type that would appeal to sexual sadists—one of the eight major types of sexual deviancy (also known as paraphilia).
“Films of this nature are of great interest to the subset of individuals interested in sexual sadism,” he replied, adding the goal of the material “seems to be the inflicting of harm on adult women,” whether it’s shooting them with firearms or arrows.
“Some people say it’s the mastery over someone else’s life—whether they live or not—that is erotic,” testified Dr. Collins, noting he has seen “this type of material in the actual collections of sexual sadists.”
Bartlett-Hughes also asked Dr. Collins about the frequency of sexual sadism in our society, and if other types of sexual deviants would enjoy media featuring a mix of sex and violence.
Dr. Collins’ testimony ended for the day at 5 p.m. and was to continue today.
Smith is being represented by Winnipeg lawyer Darren Sawchuk. Madame Justice H. Pierce is presiding over the trial.
Last week, pre-trial motions were made as well as the jury selection, which saw 10 women and two men appointed to the panel.

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