Ex-Ontario deputy minister claimed to have had sex with his own daughters in online chats, court hears
Benjamin Levin was consistent and “realistic” in his descriptions of
sexual assault of children during online chats and never once stressed
that it was all for fantasy, the Crown argued during day two of his
sentencing hearing on child porn charges.
Crown counsel Allison Dellandrea read aloud several extremely graphic
chat exchanges the former Ontario deputy minister of education had with
undercover officers he believed were submissive mothers interested in
having sex with their own children.
The 63-year-old married father of three repeatedly and consistently
claimed to have had sex with his own daughters, starting at age 12
(though, as he told one of the officers, “I wish we’d started
Levin — who was a member of Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne’s
transition team — has pleaded guilty to the making of written child
pornography, possession of child pornography and counseling to commit
sexual assault on a child. He has not been charged with actually
carrying out a sexual assault on a child.
the Crown worked hard to convince Justice Heather McArthur that through
his persona as a “master, or even a mentor” on adult “alternative
sexual lifestyle” incest chat rooms, he had significant influence in
counseling to commit.
Dellandrea asked the judge to consider a prison sentence of 3 1/2
years — one for the making child pornography charge, six months for
possession and two for the more serious counsel to commit. Defence is
asking for just two years in prison.
Dellandrea took the court on a tour of the “depraved” online world
the formerly well-respected education expert inhabited, suggesting he
“wasn’t just dabbling in the child sexual abuse online world, he was a
“[Levin] essentially boasted about having achieved sexual contact
with all three of his children and successfully gotten away with it as
had his wife,” Dellandrea said. “That’s an extraordinary feature of the
counsel to commit.”
Levin’s wife, Barbara, whom he referenced often in his online
exchanges — and even claimed his online profile that she was just
involved in the child sex play — knew nothing about her husband’s
this court artist’s sketch, Benjamin Levin (left to right), Justice
Heather McArthur, forensic psychiatrist Julian Gojer and crown
co-counsel Patricia Garcia appear in court in Toronto, Monday.
It’s rare in child porn cases to see such frequent descriptions of
sado-masochistic sexual acts carried out on children, Dellandrea said.
And yet they were all over Levin’s chats with undercover officers.
“‘I pushed two fingers in her mouth” one undercover officer told him
of her fictional daughter. “Make her gag on them…I want to make her suck
cock,” Levin wrote back. When the undercover officer wrote that she
stopped when her daughter began to gag, Levin wrote “Why are you
He also suggested the officer kiss her daughter “between blows.” This child was described as being 10 years old.
Court also learned that Levin engaged with at least one more fake
persona created by Toronto Police child exploitation unit officer
Detective Constable Janelle Blackadar. Her exchanges with Levin led to
the counsel to commit charge.
He raised many examples with Blackadar of his experience sexually assaulting his own daughters.
“We had many wonderful years,” he said when he told her their sexual
activities together faded out. “Wish we had started earlier.”
There was also discussion of “sharing” children for sexual abuse
purposes. Levin even expressed interest in possibly one day sexually
abusing his future grandchildren.
Levin (left), former Ontario Deputy Education Minister charged with
child pornography, enters court with his lawyer Clayton Ruby (right) for
the first day of his sentencing in Toronto, Monday April 13, 2015.
As the sentencing got underway Tuesday, so too did a protest against
Ontario’s revised sex-ed curriculum at Queen’s Park downtown. Critics of
the Liberal government’s update to what students will learn in school
about sex believe Levin’s pedophilic interest influenced the update — a
charge the government denies.
The court received one new exhibit Tuesday — letters submitted by the
general public expressing “vitriol and hatred” against Levin, who
pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges out of seven initially
laid. Many of them were form letters distributed by the “pro-family
conservative women’s movement” REAL Women of Canada, Crown co-counsel
Patricia Garcia said.
While the Crown tried to keep them out of evidence, Levin’s defence
lawyer Clayton Ruby argued they should be filed as an exhibit because
the clear “stigma” against his client matters in the course of
sentencing. The judge agreed.
During the first day of sentencing Monday, court heard from defence
witness Dr. Julian Gojer, a forensic psychiatrist who had treated Levin
and deemed him “low risk” of re-offending. Ruby also pointed out that of
more than 2,000 pornography images seized from Levin’s two laptops and a
hard-drive, only 15 of them are child pornography.
The Crown called into question a meeting Levin had at the Amsterdam
airport with a British parent he’d met on the incest chat site. Levin
had discussed the sexual abuse of this man’s three children with him and
had photos of these children.
The sentencing continues.
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