The former Ontario deputy education minister who oversaw the development of a controversial sex-ed program before facing child sex charges will plead guilty to a number of those charges.
Benjamin Levin, born 1952, was arrested in 2013 in the wake of an international child porn sting that led to his North York doorstep. He was not only accused of making and distributing child pornography, but also of arranging for a sexual offense with a child, and with possessing and accessing child pornography.
Levin’s lawyer Clayton Ruby confirmed Friday in court that his client will plead guilty to some of the seven charges, without clarifying which ones, reported the Toronto Star. Ruby also indicated that a guilty plea means there will be no trial.
Levin will be sentenced in March.
Under his watch as Ontario’s top education official from 2004 to 2009, Levin oversaw the development of an update to the provincial sex-education curriculum. Critics immediately slammed the proposal for encouraging the early sexualization of children and promoting a homosexual agenda.
Under the umbrella of “sexual diversity,” the curriculum teaches children to question whether they are a boy or a girl, about masturbation, oral sex, and ‘diverse’ family structures. After strong backlash from outraged parents the curriculum was shelved by then-Premier Dalton McGuinty in 2010.
After Levin’s arrest, Premier Kathleen Wynne, herself an open lesbian, tried to distance Levin from the sex-ed curriculum, saying at the time he had no direct role in writing it.
Critics expect the latest sex-ed curriculum proposed by Wynne to largely resemble its shelved predecessor. Wynne has stated that the curriculum, slated for all publicly funded schools next fall, will teach children about giving “sexual consent” and what she calls “healthy relationships.” Wynne claims the Liberal government has adequately consulted parents this time round through a process of one parent being handpicked from each elementary school province-wide to answer an online survey of generic questions, but no parent has yet viewed the actual contents of the curriculum. A draft of the curriculum is not expected until February or March.
Education Minister Liz Sandals has confirmed that Catholic schools will be required to teach the curriculum to Catholic children unaltered.