Case of former teacher accused of child sex crimes in court

Court heard defence lawyer is awaiting more information from Crown prosectors

A lawyer for a former Westpark Middle School teacher accused of more than two dozen child sexual exploitation-related charges is awaiting more information on the case against his client.

Red Deer lawyer Kevin Sproule, acting as agent for the teacher’s Calgary lawyer, Stephen Bitzer, said he is awaiting disclosure on the latest charges, which came to light in court last month. The case was put over until May 15.

The 61-year-old former teacher is facing 26 charges in all, including numerous counts of sexual contact with a minor, sexual counselling of a minor and making sexually explicit material available to someone under 16.

Other charges include possessing, accessing and making, printing or publishing child pornography; sexual exploitation, making sexually explicit material available to someone under 18 and extortion.

Five charges were laid last December in connection with alleged sexual offences that occurred during the school Christmas break. The investigation continued, leading to additional charges.

The accused was not present in court Wednesday morning.

He was released previously on $3,000 bail, including conditions that he not be allowed in the presence of children or youth under the age of 16, except with the written permission of his bail supervisor or in the presence of a responsible adult who is aware of the charges.

Red Deer Public Schools fired the teacher when the allegations came to light.

A Crown prosecutor from the specialized prosecutions branch in Calgary has been appointed to oversee the case.

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