Member of Ontario premier's transition team faces child porn charges - Macleans.ca

Member of Ontario premier’s transition team faces child porn charges

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TORONTO – A former Ontario deputy education minister, who was also on Premier Kathleen Wynne’s transition team, has been charged with child pornography offences.

Benjamin Levin, 61, of Toronto, is facing five charges, including two counts of distributing child pornography and one count of making child pornography.

Levin, who is also a professor at the University of Toronto, was arrested Monday after police executed a search warrant at his home following an online child exploitation investigation.

He is also charged with counselling to commit an indictable offence and arrangement of a sexual offence against a child under 16.

The premier’s office has confirmed Levin served on Wynne’s transition advisory team but won’t comment on the charges.

Wynne’s office says the transition team met for the last time June 12, when she thanked members, including Levin, for their work helping her take over the reins from outgoing premier Dalton McGuinty.

Levin served under McGuinty as deputy minister of education from late 2004 to early 2007.

He also served as Manitoba’s deputy minister of advanced education and deputy minister of education, training and youth between 1999 and 2002.

According to his resume posted online, Levin has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Manitoba and a master of education degree from Harvard. He is currently a professor and research chair in education and leadership at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

Toronto police Const. Wendy Drummond says the investigation had been going on for “at least a couple of months” prior to the execution of the warrant.

Police say they do not know whether there could be more victims.

“The investigation is ongoing and the potential is there for us to discover more, but at this point we have the charges that we’ve got,” said Drummond.

Toronto police say they were assisted by police in London, Ont., and the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand.

“It is common for us to come into contact with people that other services have also had contact with,” Drummond said.

Levin’s resume states he had given numerous presentations and seminars in New Zealand.

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