TORONTO - Ontario’s former deputy education minister was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for child porn offences.Count on government officials and academic experts to do the wrong thing.
Ben Levin, the former award-winning educator, scholar, and University of Toronto professor received six months for creating and possessing child pornography, a year for making child porn and 18 months for counselling to commit a sexual assault.
He pleaded guilty to the charges in March.
Levin, 63, was a globe-trotting education expert and public speaker who counselled provincial premiers and leaders in the field — including a stint as deputy education minister in Manitoba.
But court heard Friday that during his off hours, he frequented an online incest chatroom and counselled single moms — three of whom were undercover police officers — on how to sexually assault their daughters, including one case where he “suggested that the mother penetrate the child with implements,” and that it was “important to make the child cry.” In another chat, Levin claimed to have sexually assaulted his own daughters as well as other children.
Ontario Court Justice Heather McArthur, however, made it clear “there is no evidence that (Levin) ever had sexual contact with a child.”
In her ruling, McArthur also pointed to 15 digital images seized after Levin was arrested in July 2013 — images that included sexual activity between children and “penetrative” sexual activity between children and adults. Two videos were also seized. The stills and videos made up 79 files of child pornogaphy found by police, McArthur said.
Another lesson in what happens when you believe that right and wrong are culturally determined and therefore have no real meaning.