An itinerant church minister found guilty on two charges related to child pornography while he worked on Vancouver Island will serve nearly six months of jail time.
Aaron Farough, 36, of Fort St. John, had been charged with possession of child pornography, importing/distributing child pornography and accessing child pornography. Charges dated back to February, 2019 while he was staying at a Courtenay home of one of his parishioners in the North Island.
Thursday in BC Provincial Court, he was found guilty of one count of accessing child pornography and one count of importing/distributing.
Farough’s missionary work relied on room and board at homes of members of his church. According to a local source who asked for anonymity, the ministry in question has no official name but has been called The 2x2’s, referring to ministers going out in pairs. It’s also known as The Truth, or The Way. It originated in Ireland in the 19th century. Today, there are no formal headquarters. Each country has a main overseer who keeps things operational. In Canada, each province has an overseer. The source says the global fellowship is “rife with systemic and intergenerational sexual abuse.” A 60 Minutes Australia documentary examines ‘The Truth’ in one of its episodes.
The source said Farough visited parishioners for about two years, from Port Hardy to Powell River and down to Nanaimo, though most evidence was gathered in Courtenay.
The source was allowed to listen to a pre-sentencing hearing via Zoom, Dec. 12 in Courtenay. Farough used a smartphone to access, download and distribute child pornography in the Courtenay home on Feb. 17, 2019. The RCMP intercepted the images and began investigating the IP address. Farough was found to have distributed 28 of 32 image files of child pornography. Analysis confirms the children in the videos and images were all girls, ranging from four to 12 years old. There was also a naked man (not identified as Farough) performing sexual acts against the children in the images and videos.
Crown counsel Mark Crisp said Farough was in a position of authority as a minister. He quoted Farough previously saying, “If I didn’t have access to this phone, I wouldn’t have accessed child porn. If I hadn’t been in such private settings, I wouldn’t have distributed child porn.”
Defence attorney Owen James said Farough, who now lives in Lethbridge, informed his church of his wrongdoings when the allegations came forward. He was removed from the ministry but not from the fellowship. He has since had 19 sessions with a psychologist in Alberta that focused on his sexual issues. A psychiatric assessment suggests the celibate ministry contributed to his sexual issues, and Farough acknowledged that his online activities did not align with his values, but he could not stop when he was bored. He accessed child pornography because he was “curious,” he stated.
The Crown was seeking seven months, but Farough was sentenced to 175 days of jail time, effective immediately, followed by one year of probation. He is not allowed to be employed or volunteer to work with any child under 16 years. He must comply with the Sex Offender Act and will be on the registry for 20 years. He is also required to provide a DNA sample while in jail.