Toronto

Benjamin Levin 'truly sorry' for child porn-related offences

Benjamin Levin told a judge Wednesday he is "truly sorry" for the child pornography-related offences he has pleaded guilty to and he will do everything he can to "repair the damage" he’s done.

Benjamin Levin sentencing hearing

7 years ago
Duration 1:55
The sentencing hearing for Benjamin Levin wrapped on Wednesday.

Benjamin Levin told a judge Wednesday he is "truly sorry" for the child pornography-related offences he has pleaded guilty to and he will do everything he can to "repair the damage" he's done.

"It is all a source of lasting shame and pain for me, no matter what the sentence," Levin told Justice Heather McArthur on the third day of his sentencing hearing in a Toronto court.

The defence has asked for Levin to serve a two-year sentence, while the Crown is seeking a sentence of up to three-and-a-half years.

The 63-year-old former deputy minister of education pleaded guilty last month to making written child pornography, to counselling a person to commit a sexual assault and to possession of child pornography.

His sentencing hearing began on Monday and continued for two additional days, wrapping on Wednesday.

Levin's arrest in July 2013 came after he chatted online with undercover officers describing fantasies of molesting children and instructing some of those officers on how to sexually assault their children.

His lawyer has argued there is no evidence to suggest Levin ever acted on his fantasies.

The defence entered nearly three dozen letters of recommendation to the court, including correspondence from Levin's wife, his three daughters and his brother. 

Others came from fellow academics and some of his friends.

Levin's lawyer Clayton Ruby told the court Wednesday Levin acknowledges his offences are serious and he is willing to go to federal prison for two years as a result.

"Two years is enough denunciation," he told the court on Wednesday.

The Crown, however, has argued Levin's online chats were sadistic and they had the potential to harm children.

Levin will be sentenced at the end of May.

Play the video above to see Michelle Cheung's full report on the hearing.

now