Woodstock man charged with child luring to be sentenced in August

by | Jun 12, 2024

Sentencing hearing for Jason Kuhndel includes case facts, positive pre-sentence report

Supported by his parents and brother as he sat in a Fredericton courtroom, 20-year-old Jason Kuhndel of Woodstock was remorseful when he addressed the court at his sentencing hearing on May 24.

Earlier this year, Kuhndel pleaded guilty to one count of child luring and one count of making sexually explicit material available to a minor with the intent to create child pornography. 

The charges relate to incidents that occurred in Fredericton in January 2023. The victim, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was 11 years old at the time.

In an agreed statement of facts, the court heard that Fredericton Police began their investigation in March 2023. 

Kuhndel met the victim when he was a camp counsellor, and she was a camper at Green Hill Lake Camp. 

In January, the girl contacted Kuhndel, the social media app Snapchat, and the two began talking. 

In an agreed statement of facts, the court heard that conversations turned sexual in nature a month later after playing the game, Two Truths and a Lie. Later, they exchanged intimate photos and videos. When she told him she was 11, he deleted her off Snapchat. She then added him back, and they began talking again. He again deleted her from the app, and she added him back. 

In an interview with police, Kuhndel said he had tried to break things off because he was worried about the relationship progressing, noting that a friend of the victim had tried to blackmail him before Fredericton Police laid charges.

Kuhndel’s lawyer, Patrick Hurley, noted the positive nature of his client’s pre-sentence report and the accused’s expression of remorse for his actions. 

The report included glowing comments from work supervisors, teachers, and family members on work ethic, dependability, and trustworthiness. Kuhndel has no prior record.

Fredericton Police found no evidence of sexual touching, but there was surveillance video from a Fredericton mall in March 2023 that showed the victim and two friends entering a store. Kuhndel waited outside while the three shopped for lingerie and sex toys, which Kuhndel paid for.

The pre-sentence report also noted  Kuhndel’s mother and the accused referencing the recent death of Kuhndel’s stepfather, which, they stated, was no excuse for his actions, but may have clouded his judgement.

The victim impact statement was referenced but not read into the court record.

The judge and crown noted the disturbing nature of the crime and that the victim’s mental health had suffered because of the crime.

When asked if he wanted to address the court, Kuhndel said he was sorry.

“I thought a lot about what I wanted to say,” he said, visibly nervous. “Um, as you’ve seen from the pre-sentence report, pretty much until now, I’ve been nothing but a very good contributing member of society. I think it says a lot that I have my entire family here… I have wanted to do nothing but always contribute and help people the best way I can,” said Kuhndel, his voice cracking. “Because of these events, I’ve cried a lot; I’ve regretted a lot, and I will regret this for the rest of my life. I just hope that I’ve shown that I am remorseful and regretful to hopefully get a sentence that I can still pursue what I want in life. That’s it.”

Justice Melanie Poirier LeBlanc reserved her decision to thoroughly review both the victim impact statement and the accused’s pre-sentence report.

Kuhndel returns to court for sentencing on August 9. 

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