EDITORIAL: Healing process continues after verdict reached

It is possible to have children and teens at risk, even in an environment where they should be safe

The court process for former Summerland lifeguard Edward Casavant is now over as he was sentenced on Jan. 13.

His sentence, for numerous charges related to child sexual assault and child pornography, is for six years, with one year of the sentence already served.

Casavant, also known as “Eddie Spaghetti,” worked as a lifeguard in Summerland for more than 30 years. Many remember him as a lifeguard or a swimming instructor.

In 2019, he was arrested, tried and found guilty of the charges.

During the sentencing, it was heard that Casavant had created explicit videos of children for a period of 10 to 15 years, including 30 voyeurism videos, mostly of boys between the ages of six and 10.

He had been found to be in possession of 275 unique videos of children.

READ ALSO: Convicted Penticton sex offender Edward “Eddie Spaghetti” Casavant sentenced to six years

READ ALSO: Former Summerland lifeguard pleads guilty in child pornography case

Since the arrest last year, many in Summerland and beyond have been shaken, wondering if their children were put at risk during swimming lessons and other programs offered through the Summerland Aquatic Centre. There is no easy way to alleviate such concerns.

And while the court process has now run its course, some of the uneasiness continues.

It will take time before this sense of uneasiness finally comes to an end.

For those who have been affected, the healing process will take a long time. It is not over when the sentence was handed down on Monday.

The trial and the sentencing have demonstrated that it is possible to have children and teens at risk, even in an environment where they should be safe.

One can talk about the need for a stringent screening process for anyone working with children and teens, and such measures need to be supported.

In fact, there are processes in place to keep children and teens safe, or at least to minimize risks.

But discussions about stricter sentencing will not change what has happened. Policies set for the future cannot change the past.

And as a result, the sense of uneasiness felt by some in the community will continue for some time to come.

— Black Press

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