Sex offender asked to move
CALGARY — Alberta’s justice minister is asking a former police officer convicted of possessing child pornography to move out of a Calgary neighbourhood after dozens of residents phoned him with concerns.
Stephen Huggett, who is 59, was sentenced to nine months in jail for possession of child pornography in 2009.
He was recently charged under the 1992 Criminal Code with invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference with a child under 14.
Huggett lives in the community of Willow Park across the street from two elementary schools and a daycare.
Over the weekend, Justice Minister Jonathan Denis went door-to-door to speak with residents, and says he hopes Huggett will voluntarily move.
Denis says people are afraid.
“People are well aware of this issue in the area and realistically we do have to leave matters before the courts, for the courts to decide,” Denis said.
“But there is nothing stopping the offender in this case from voluntarily relocating, which is what I’m asking him to do.”
Huggett is currently out on bail with strict conditions. His next court appearance is Aug. 29.
“When you’re living across the street from a playground, a busy playground, a busy school that’s going to have many children are available, it is concerning,” Denis said.
“Law-abiding people have the right to feel safe and be free of fear, and not always be looking over their shoulders.”
But those who work with sex offenders say putting the spotlight on them doesn’t help.
“If one is isolating them, marginalizing them, pushing them out, statistically those are the reasons that will create re-offence,” said Moira Brownlee of Mennonite Central Committee.