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Prolific child pornographer seeks stay of conviction, claiming abuse by jail guards

Last Updated Jun 8, 2016 at 4:17 pm EDT

Convicted child pornographer Brian Way is shown in a Toronto courtroom with Judge Julie Thorburn on June 8, 2016. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher

One of Canada’s most notorious and prolific child pornographers has put forward an application for a stay of conviction, claiming he was harassed and humiliated by guards at a Toronto detention centre.

Brian Way was convicted in May 2015 of making, possessing, publishing, distributing, exporting, and importing child pornography.

During a 2011 raid, police seized 8,000 videos and nearly 200,000 images from the 44-year-old’s Etobicoke video business.

In court on Wednesday, Way argued for a stay of conviction or reduced sentence, saying guards at Toronto West Detention Centre asked him to “twirl like a ballerina” while he was being strip searched following his arrest.

Way further alleged he was punched and kicked by inmates. He cried on the stand Wednesday describing the “humiliation” he endured.

Crown attorney Jennifer Strasberg said they were crocodile tears.

“Do you see the irony here?” she asked Way. “You put children in the hands of pedophiles and images of boys on the internet.”

When Judge Julie Thorburn interrupted Strasberg, asking her to explain the relevance of her questioning, Strasberg responded: “It goes to his credibility. This is all an act for you, your Honour.”

The stay application alleges abuse by guards over a 23-day period.

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The Crown is asking for more than the maximum sentence of 14 years.

The defence is asking for time served. Way has been imprisoned since his 2011 arrest.

Way’s arrest was part of a massive investigation which led to more than 300 arrests in Canada, the United States, Mexico and other countries.

Almost 400 children were rescued as a result of the probe.

Police said at the time that Way made millions producing and selling the films through a company called Azov Films.