Calgary

Former Homeless Foundation board member pleads guilty to luring, child pornography and trafficking charges

Shortly after the start of his trial, Robin Wortman, a former board member of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault against a minor, possession and distribution of child pornography and drug trafficking. 

Plea marks end of 4th trial for Robin Wortman, all tied to offences involving youth

Former Homeless Foundation board member Robin Wortman pleaded guilty to four counts on Friday. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Shortly after the start of his trial, Robin Wortman, a former board member of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault against a minor, possession and distribution of child pornography and drug trafficking. 

Wortman has been through three previous trials, multiple trial adjournment applications and eight lawyers — including one who was previously disbarred — over the course of his legal saga. 

On Wednesday, he was unsuccessful in another application to adjourn the trial and complained about his lack of access to the alleged child pornography that is restricted disclosure.

By Friday, however, he admitted guilt. 

Statement of facts

According to an agreed statement of facts read out loud in the courtroom, Wortman used social media and text messages to communicate with underage boys and lure them into sexual relationships and/or encourage the use of drugs.

In at least one instance, Wortman tried to exploit the victim's drug use "to facilitate a sexual relationship."

Wortman also admitted to possession of child pornography in the form of videos taken of two of his victims as well as "hundreds of images of other adolescents and young people engaged in sex acts or nude and sexually exposed." 

He agreed in the statement of fact that in excess of 200 of the images "depict pubescent children."

Finally, Wortman admitted that over the course of several months from 2016 to 2017, he shared, traded and sold marijuana and methamphetamine.

"For the purposes of this guilty plea, Wortman admits that on multiple occasions, young people attended the Skygate Apartment at his invitation for the purpose of using illegal substances, including methamphetamine and marijuana," reads the statement. 

Previous trials

Wortman has been through three other trials and was out on bail for this current trial after serving his sentences.

In 2017, Wortman was found not guilty of raping a homeless teen even though the judge said she did not believe his testimony. During the trial, Wortman admitted to doing drugs with teens who were 50 years his junior.

Last September, Wortman was found guilty of four breach charges for attending an event where children were present, using the internet and for having a cellphone.

In January, Wortman was convicted of obstruction of justice and breaching two no-contact orders for trying to convince one of his alleged victims to recant his evidence to police while the two were both being held at the Calgary Remand Centre.