Teacher jailed for child porn pos­ses­sion

The Niagara Falls Review - - Local - ALI­SON LAN­G­LEY

A Ni­a­gara teacher de­scribed as a “pas­sion­ate coach and re­spected ed­u­ca­tor” has been sen­tenced to six months be­hind bars for pos­ses­sion of child pornog­ra­phy.

Al­lan Jay Fiocca, a teacher at Saint Fran­cis Catholic Sec­ondary School in St. Catharines at the time of his ar­rest, was also placed on pro­ba­tion for three years and banned from work­ing or vol­un­teer­ing in any ca­pac­ity where he would be in a po­si­tion of trust over chil­dren un­der the age of 16.

“I am truly sorry for what I did,” the 54-year-old first-time of­fender said Thurs­day in On­tario Court of Jus­tice in St. Catharines.

“As a teacher, I al­ways told my stu­dents that every­one makes mis­takes and it’s im­por­tant to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their ac­tions,” Fiocca told Judge Fer­gus O’Don­nell.

“I also told them to not let mis­takes you made be what de­fines you.”

The judge told the de­fen­dant that a vic­tim of child pornog­ra­phy is re-vic­tim­ized ev­ery time an im­age is shared.

“Child pornog­ra­phy is toxic,” the judge said.

“Nowa­days, these images can be re­pro­duced tens of mil­lions of times. They are eter­nal.”

Fiocca had worked as a teacher for al­most 25 years and vol­un­teered as a bas­ket­ball coach for three decades.

With his con­vic­tion, he will “never work as a teacher or coach of young peo­ple again,” said his lawyer Erin Dann.

The St. Catharines res­i­dent came to the at­ten­tion of Ni­a­gara Regional Po­lice in the sum­mer of 2017 af­ter po­lice re­ceived in­for­ma­tion from the Na­tional Cen­ter for Miss­ing and Ex­ploited Chil­dren re­gard­ing a num­ber of images on a video shar­ing web­site that ap­peared to be child pornog­ra­phy.

Po­lice dis­cov­ered 65 dig­i­tal images that met the crim­i­nal def­i­ni­tion of child pornog­ra­phy on Fiocca’s com­puter. The images were of fe­male chil­dren, some as young as six.

A foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion of the com­puter in­di­cated the images had been re­ceived and filed, but most had not been viewed.

There was, how­ever, a “a large amount of other ob­scene ma­te­rial,” said Crown at­tor­ney Michael Sokol­ski.

That ma­te­rial, while not il­le­gal, de­picted the “sex­u­al­iza­tion of young peo­ple” and had been ac­cessed “with some reg­u­lar­ity.”

The judge also banned Fiocca, whose name will be added to the Na­tional Sex Of­fender Reg­istry for 10 years, from ac­cess­ing the in­ter­net un­less the com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­vice is equipped with soft­ware that blocks peer-to-peer shar­ing of images. He is also pro­hib­ited from ac­cess­ing so­cial me­dia ac­counts of any­one un­der the age of 18.

Court was told Fiocca was the vic­tim of “vig­i­lante jus­tice” af­ter his charges were made pub­lic.

“He was at­tacked by an un­known male and suf­fered a sig­nif­i­cant beat­ing,” Dann said.

Ni­a­gara Catholic Dis­trict School Board con­firmed the de­fen­dant is no longer em­ployed by the board.

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