Former Ontario deputy education minister pleads guilty to child porn charges

A man who was once Ontario’s deputy minister of education has pleaded guilty to three child pornography-related charges in a Toronto court.

TORONTO — A man who was once Ontario’s deputy minister of education has pleaded guilty to three child pornography-related charges in a Toronto court.

Benjamin Levin, who was also a university professor, entered a guilty plea for making written child pornography, counselling a person to commit a sexual assault, and possession of child pornography.

He was originally charged with seven child-pornography-related offences.

The investigation that led to Levin’s July 2013 arrest began in mid-2012 after officials in Toronto were contacted by authorities in New Zealand and later police in London, Ont.

From late 2004 to early 2007, Levin held the post of deputy education minister in Ontario, and was on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s transition team as she took office.

He also served as Manitoba’s deputy minister of advanced education and deputy minister of education, training and youth between 1999 and 2002.

Levin has been back in the spotlight in recent days as Ontario released an updated sex-education curriculum.

Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant has criticized the curriculum in Parliament, suggesting Levin may have had a hand in developing the document.

The claims have been met with derision from Ontario’s Liberal government, with Wynne calling comments by Gallant which linked the revised policy to pedophilia “disgusting.”

“Deputy ministers don’t write curriculum,” Wynne said. “The curriculum as we have brought it forward was written by curriculum experts based on solid evidence that shows what kids need to know in order to be safe in our community.”

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