Benjamin Levin walked out of the Finch Avenue courthouse on May 29 in handcuffs, sentenced to three years in prison. He got six months for the possession of child pornography (15 images and two videos), 12 for the making of child pornography, and 18 for counselling to commit sexual assault. The Crown sought three-and-a-half years, while Levin’s lawyer Clayton Ruby was asking for just two.
Ontario Court Justice Heather McArthur further ordered that for five years after Levin is released from prison he must use the internet solely for education or employment and avoid locations where children under 16 frequent, unless supervised by an adult over 21 who knows of his serious convictions. Levin also will be permanently registered as a sex offender.
Before the child pornographer was arrested in July 2013, he was revered as an internationally-recognized leader in the field of education, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He was also the deputy education minister in Ontario at the time when a sex-ed curriculum similar to the current one Kathleen Wynne has been pushing was being developed, though Wynne has repeatedly denied that Levin had any connection to it.
Despite his prestige, when 63 year-old Levin had pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in March, the full extent of which Judge McArthur called his “hidden dark side” was revealed. When counselling women online to sexually assault their daughters, he stressed that it was “important to make the child cry.” Judge Heather McArthur of the Ontario Court asserted that because of his expertise in childhood development, “he, more than most, would know how horribly, horribly wrong this was.”