TORONTO, Ontario, Canada -- For the first time since he was arrested in July 2013, former high-ranking provincial government official and well-known professor Benjamin Levin has broken the silence about his child pornography charges.
Saying he is "deeply ashamed," Levin, who was deputy minister of education in Manitoba and Ontario and a member of Premier Kathleen Wynne's transition team, has reached out to "friends and colleagues" to write him letters of support as he prepares to plead guilty to child pornography charges and faces a sentencing hearing, QMI Agency has learned.
Levin was charged with seven child-porn-related offences under the Criminal Code. It has been reported that he has made a plea arrangement with the Crown attorney and will attend court next week to formally acknowledge his guilt.
A museum curator's lust for child porn got him two years less a day in jail Wednesday.
Franz Klingender, who had pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing kiddie porn, once had a thriving career at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum.
But it was his curated library of child sex pictures and videos that he'll be remembered for now.
"There are as many as 14,000 victims of Mr. Klingender's activities," Crown prosecutor Mark Holmes said, alluding to the vast size of his collection.
The jail term -- plus one year of probation -- was a joint submission from the Crown and defence.
Doctors consider him a low risk to reoffend, though Holmes noted Klingender appeared to have been less than truthful about the time he spend collecting his hoard of child abuse images.
A psychiatrist nevertheless believed it "likely" Klingender, 60, has "seen the light," Holmes said. "I leave that to the court," he added dryly.
Defence lawyer Richard Addelman said his client has been unable to find work since his arrest. "He had a very bright future," Addelman said. "He's lost all of that."
A spokesman for the museum confirmed that Klingender was fired after an internal investigation.
Klingender lives near Peterborough with his wife, but he also had a pied-a-terre in Ottawa. Cops kicked in the door of his flat in one of a series of July 2013 raids that also targeted his workplace computers.
The man himself was arrested at the Ottawa airport as he prepared to board a plane to England. His wife was at his side.
For his part, Klingender seemed most concerned with doing his time at a secure Brockville psychiatric facility instead of in jail. "I really to want to go to Brockville," the scruffy, bearded man told the judge in a confident voice. I can work and improve on myself."
Judge Heather Perkins-McVey made the recommendation he sought, placed him on the national sex offenders registry for life and ordered him to provide a sample of his DNA. He is also barred from communicating with children under the age of 16 and will have only limited access to computers when he gets out.
Perkins-McVey asked if he had any questions. "I don't think so," Klingender said. "It's a lot to swallow."
A cop led him down to the basement cellblocks to await the first day of the rest of his life.
A 39-year-old man from Fergus faces child pornography charges following a two-month investigation by provincial police.
OPP say William Ryan Eadie was arrested Tuesday, at a home in Fergus.
He faces two counts of possessing child pornography and one count of accessing child pornography.
As part of their investigation, police say they seized six computer devices as well as other items – some of which allegedly contained images of a child being sexually abused.
Fergus is a town of about 20,000 people, about 35 km north of Guelph, Ontario.
BARRIE - An Orillia woman who made repeated plans to “kidnap, drug and rape” a random child from a playground made an unexpected guilty plea in court Wednesday.
Avery Taylor, 21, stood in the prisoner’s box weeping and red-faced, as she whispered the word “guilty” 10 times to 10 separate counts that could have her sentenced as a dangerous offender.
The charges include conspiring to kidnap a child, conspiring to drug children, making child pornography and sexually assaulting a child.
Taylor was arrested in the fall of 2013 along with Shayne Lund, 23, of Midland, who is still before the courts.
|Avery Taylor and co-accused Shayne Lund|
The details of Thompson’s case were read out by Crown Attorney Indy Kandola in court Wednesday in an agreed statements of facts.
Thompson pleaded guilty to 11 counts including conspiring to drug and sexually assault children; committing bestiality on a dog and creating and possessing child pornography.
Police seized Thompson’s cellphone which showed several images of her having sex with a dog with the words, “I love my dog.”
Several images on her phone show she surreptitiously took photos of a prepubescent girl while she was naked. She then conspired to drug and rape the girl and discussed which drug options would work best. Court heard she also received images on her phone showing children in sexual acts.
“They appear to be distressed due to being sexually assaulted,” Kandola said.
Both guilty pleas were unexpected and the Crown has announced both women will be called to testify at Lund’s preliminary hearing, which continues Thursday.
Orillia is a city on a spit of land between lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching in southern Ontario. It has a population of about 30,000, which, I was once told, doubles in the summer. The location has history going back 4000 years.