Teacher jailed for child porn possession
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.