Porn just for study: lawyer

SURKIS CASE Needed re­search to ‘ study the abuse prob­lem’

Montreal Gazette - - Montreal - SUE MONT­GOMERY GAZETTE JUS­TICE RE­PORTER

Bill Surkis, a re­spected mem­ber of Montreal’s Jewish com­mu­nity, down­loaded child pornog­ra­phy for ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses only, his lawyer said yes­ter­day.

Steven Slimovitch said his client, the for­mer re­gional di­rec­tor of B’nai Brith in Que­bec and the aca­demic dean of John Ab­bott Col­lege for 22 years, was ed­u­cat­ing him­self about child pornog­ra­phy to sup­ple­ment the pub­lic lec­tures he gives about abuse on the In­ter­net.

“In or­der to study the abuse prob­lem, the root prob­lem, you have to go in deeper and that’s what he was do­ing,” he said yes­ter­day af­ter Surkis’s court date was post­poned to Fe­bru­ary.

Surkis, 69, was charged in May with two counts of pos­sess­ing child pornog­ra­phy be­tween July and Novem­ber 2008, and is free on bail.

Slimovitch said his client down­loaded 26 videos from the In­ter­net, but made no at­tempt to hide what he was do­ing. He also only viewed a “cou­ple of the videos for a cou­ple of sec­onds.”

“He down­loaded it in an open way us­ing his credit card, gave his home ad­dress, sent it to his com­puter. ... it lends a cer­tain cre­dence,” he said.

Slimovitch said the Crim­i­nal Code al­lows pos­ses­sion of child pornog­ra­phy as long as it’s for a valid ed­u­ca­tional pur­pose.

smont­gomery@ thegazette.canwest.com

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