Father faces sex-related charges

A Stettler-area father elected to be tried by a judge alone on alleged sex-related and child pornography offences against some of his children.

A Stettler-area father elected to be tried by a judge alone on alleged sex-related and child pornography offences against some of his children.

The Crown and the defence counsel had hoped to resolve the matter on Friday but an agreement could not be reached. Judge David Plosz set a preliminary inquiry on Sept. 24 to determine if there’s enough evidence to proceed to trial.

The 37-year-old accused, whose identify cannot be released under a court-imposed publication ban because it could identify the victims, made a brief appearance in Red Deer provincial court on Friday.

Lawyer Will Willms told the court his client has elected to be tried by judge alone in Court of Queen’s Bench.

The accused is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, and making, printing or producing child pornography. The offences are alleged to have occurred between May and June 2011.

The man was previously released on a $2,000 bond and prohibited from having contact with anyone under the age of 18, including his six children. He can’t go within 500 metres of schools or playgrounds and must stay at least 2,000 metres from his family’s residence.

Willms and special Crown prosecutor Jenny Rees, from Calgary, told Judge David Plosz they are still hoping for a resolution before the preliminary inquiry goes ahead.

“If it’s resolvable, we will alert court to free up that time for other matters,” said Willms.

Rees, who met Friday with the mother of the alleged victims, is part of a small group of prosecutors that handles all child pornography-related cases in the southern part of the province.

Rees said this is to contain the number of people who see the pornographic images, which are not even shared with the defence counsel.