Porn just for study: lawyer
SURKIS CASE Needed research to ‘ study the abuse problem’
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.