Law enforcement officials have charged a University of Toronto prof and a former member of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s ( a lesbian) transition team with numerous child pornography offences.
Benjamin Levin, 61 – a professor at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education – was arrested Monday after an online, multi-jurisdictional, child exploitation investigation.
He is charged with two counts of child pornography distribution, and one count each of the making of child porn, counseling to commit an indictable offence and arrangement of a sexual offence against a child under 16.
“This is news to us, we’re looking into it,” said Blane McPhail, a media representative at Wynne’s office.
Levin was an advisor to the Wynne government from January until June 12.
Neighbours outside Levin’s Glengarry Ave. home expressed their shock and concern.
“I’ve lived on this street for four years. I’m surprised to hear anything like this has happened. He isn’t home a lot. I often see ladies coming and going and the airport limousine,” neighbour Toke Suyama said.
Shortly after that an airport limousine pulled slowly past the house, with an older man inside. It then turned around and went in the opposite direction.
“He isn’t home a lot. Its a safe street, I thought,” added Suyama.
Officers have been spotted entering the home but all cop cars are unmarked.
Inside several people huddled around a computer at what appeared to be a living room table. A woman answered the door and said, “We’re not commenting right now – we’re working on a search warrant,” then shut the door quickly, refusing to give any more information.
“I’m shocked to see things like this in this neighourhood, they should be locked up forever,” said Dan Mojatovic, who is frequently in the neighbourhood. “People should be concerned there are so many schools nearby.”
Lawrence Park High School is among several schools in the neighbourhood. “My daughters went to school in this neighbourhood- It is disturbing to hear something like this has happened here,” added Mojatovic.
The investigation is be ongoing. Levin is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon.