Credit: Chilliwack Progress

A sex offender in Chilliwack, who was found with child pornography on his phone, will not face jail time after his lawyer and Crown counsel agreed to a peace bond.  

As reported by the Chilliwack Progress, 36-year-old Nicolaas Steve Scholten was charged with possession of child pornography after 24 photos of young naked girls were found on his phone. The girls are believed to be 12 to 17 years old.

Section 810 peace bond means Scholten is not convicted or sentenced for a criminal offense. He will however have to agree to terms and conditions set forth by a judge. The latter is similar to being out on bail or having a conditional sentence. 

“The idea is that he gets help with his behaviours, which are quite clearly unhealthy and harmful,” said Crown counsel Randy Robinson.

The terms and conditions for the sex offender include taking part in a 12-month treatment program, in addition to being prohibited from going to pools, schools and parks – with one exception.

At the request of Scholten’s lawyer, the judge has agreed to allow Scholten to attend playgrounds if accompanied by one of his four children and an adult who is aware of his conditions. 

“You can’t just go to a playground if you want to go to a playground with an adult,” said the judge. “You must have your children with you.”

All four of his children, who he had with four different women, currently have restraining orders against him.

Scholten also told the court that he legally changed his name to Stetson Antony Outlaw. 

Scholten has been accused of using several fake identities on Facebook, and on other websites to interact with young underaged girls.

A number of online groups have also been tracking the sex offender’s behaviour. His lawyer says the treatment he’s received online has been a challenge.

“It’s been a pretty challenging stretch for him,” said Scholten’s lawyer. “One individual in the community has taken it upon himself to harass him publicly.”

Amid all of this, Scholten is unemployed and has been living with his father.

In recent years, there have been calls for governments to ban sex offenders from being able to legally change their names. Alberta introduced legislation to ban sex offenders from changing their names in 2020.

Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society executive director Karen Kuntz believes “those who make the conscious choice to intentionally hurt another human being, someone who drastically changed the course of that person’s life, they the offender should never be allowed to hide.”

“Not only do I believe the victim has the right to safety but the community as a whole should be allowed to be and feel safe. I am a mother and a grandmother and I want to know who my neighbour is,” she added.