December 12th, 2018

Sentencing delayed in child porn case


By Shurtz, Delon on September 19, 2018.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Sentencing of a former southern Alberta elementary school teacher who was caught with child pornography earlier this year has been delayed while lawyers wait to receive various forensic reports.

The Crown and defence had hoped the reports, including a risk assessment, for Mark Anderson would be completed by Tuesday and they could set a sentencing date when the matter was back in Lethbridge provincial court. However, the judge was told the reports hadn’t been completed and the case was adjourned to Oct. 9.

Anderson, 44, pleaded guilty July 16 to making and possessing child pornography. He admits in an agreed statement of facts submitted to the court the same day that he doesn’t remember a time in his life when he was not attracted to children. The children in this case are between three and 16 years old.

Anderson was arrested in January following an investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team Internet Child Exploitation Unit with help from the Pincher Creek RCMP, Piikani Nation RCMP and Lethbridge Police Service. The investigation began in July 2017 when ICE received a referral from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children concerning a social media user uploading child sexual exploitation materials.

Police searched his home in Pincher Creek and seized electronic devices that contained hundreds of explicit images and videos. Images were also found on the computer in his Grade 4 classroom in Brocket, and he was suspended from teaching by the Peigan Board of Education shortly after his arrest.

Anderson taught at Napi’s Playground Elementary School and was involved in Scouts Canada, minor sports and various youth-oriented community programs on the Piikani Nation Reserve.

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