Teacher suspended on Alberta First Nation pleads guilty to child porn charges

A 44-year-old man from Pincher Creek who taught at the Napi’s Playground Elementary School on the Piikani Nation has pleaded guilty to making and possessing child pornography.

Mark Anderson, who made the plea in Lethbridge Monday, also involved in minor sports and Scouts Canada

Mark Anderson, 44, pleaded guilty Monday to child porn charges. Sentencing is set for September. (Facebook)

A 44-year-old man from Pincher Creek who taught at the Napi's Playground Elementary School on the Piikani Nation has pleaded guilty to making and possessing child pornography.

Mark Anderson made the plea Monday in Lethbridge provincial court. He had been earlier suspended by the Peigan Board of Education.

​Devices seized from his home and classroom during an investigation uncovered hundreds of images and some videos of child porn, according to an agreed statement of fact presented to the court. 

Some of the images were duplicates contained on various electronics. Investigators also found there had been file sharing programs on one of the computers but they had been deleted and another program had been used to purge the information.

Admitted attraction to children

Anderson also gave a statement to police where he said he couldn't remember a time when he wasn't attracted to children.

He also admitted to hiding a cellphone that obtained two videos of a girl – estimated to be between the ages of 13 and 16 – while she showered.

Police earlier said Anderson was also involved in various youth-oriented community programs, including minor sports and Scouts Canada.

The investigation was launched in July 2017 when the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams' Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit received a tip from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children about a social media user uploading illegal material.

Investigators traced the posts to Anderson's home in Pincher Creek.

Forensic report ordered

After the agreed statement of facts was entered, defence lawyer James Rouleau asked for a Forensic Assessment Outpatient Service report, saying he wanted to get a medical determination of Anderson's risk of recidivism.

Judge Paul Pharo ordered the report and made a point of requesting that it include a risk assessment.

Anderson will remain out of custody while attending the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary to complete the report.

He is barred from having any contact with students or going onto school property.

A sentencing date is set for Sept 18.

Brocket, where the school is located, is about 200 kilometres south of Calgary, on the Piikani Nation reserve.

With files from Patrick Burles