Edmonton playwright charged with child porn

EDMONTON — A prominent member of Edmonton’s theatre community has been charged with possession of child pornography.

David Belke, 56, has worked for years as a playwright in the city, as well as working as a substitute teacher. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 6.

An investigation by ALERT Internet Child Exploitation and Edmonton police began in late February after photos and videos involving children were found on a computer that had been dropped off at a shop for repairs.

A search warrant was obtained and investigators discovered what they called a “significant amount of child exploitation material and child porn.” Police say the investigation is ongoing and more charges are possible.

Belke was arrested March 17 and released on a number of conditions, including that he not work or volunteer in any location where it could be reasonably foreseen that a person 16 years of age or under may be present.

Belke has been a mainstay of the Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival for many years, noting on his website that he had written a new work every year for 20 consecutive years.

He has won numerous Sterling Awards — handed out annually for the best in Edmonton theatre — and seen his plays including “The Maltese Bodkin” and “Blackpool and Parrish” produced on stages across Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Greece and the United States.

He has served as Alberta regional representative for the national council of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and as vice-president of the board for Alberta Playwrights Network.

Up until the end of February, Belke had been a playwright at Shadow Theatre for 25 years, but he resigned at the end of February.

The president of Shadow Theatre was shocked at the charge.

“This is entirely unexpected, for us, this caught us all out of left field,” Donal O’Beirne said, saying the organization learned of the charge Tuesday when ALERT released details publicly.

O’Beirne said he hadn’t heard from Belke since he resigned.

Officials with Edmonton Public Schools said Belke no longer works for the district, and said his employment ended as soon as school officials were made aware of the investigation.

Just Posted

Man killed in collision near Markerville

A 55-year-old man is dead after a collision near Markerville Friday night.… Continue reading

La Loche school shooter carried out plan with ‘stark efficiency:’ Crown

MEADOW LAKE, Sask. — A Saskatchewan judge is weighing whether a teenager… Continue reading

Castor triple-murder trial resumes on Monday

Trial was delayed two weeks for two men accused of killing Castor-area family

Red Deer Royals are sending 1,000 letters to Trudeau

The band must pay for the last 20 per cent of fieldhouse costs

Central Alberta real estate market reflects Alberta’s slow recovery

Real estate markets will bounce back but incoming mortgage changes don’t help, say realtor groups

WATCH: A magical Harry Potter weekend in downtown Red Deer

Wizards, witches and muggles are flocking to downtown Red Deer to celebrate… Continue reading

B.C. ice rink where 3 people died remains closed due to safety concerns

FERNIE, B.C. — Residents who were forced from their homes because of… Continue reading

Trudeau condemns appointment of Mugabe as WHO ambassador

EDMONTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the appointment of Zimbabwe President… Continue reading

Friday Oct. 21: Winning Lotto Numbers

Friday, October 20, 2017 LOTTO MAX Winning Numbers 1 4 12 27… Continue reading

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month