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Child porn charges shock local charity

<p>Volunteers at a charity aimed at giving children temporary shelter during a family crisis are in shock after learning one of their own has been charged with possessing and transferring child pornography.</p>

Police accuse volunteer of possessing and transferring images



Staff Sgt. Kunce





Volunteers at a charity aimed at giving children temporary shelter during a family crisis are in shock after learning one of their own has been charged with possessing and transferring child pornography.





Judith Dyck, a board chair for the Kids Kottage Foundation, says the man who faces the charges was a volunteer with the charity since 2002 before he resigned last month.





“We were totally shocked to hear about this,” she said yesterday. “He went through numerous screening processes, including police and child welfare checks, and he handed over three letters of reference.”





Police accuse Todd Tenetuik, 40, with possessing and sending out numerous images and videos involving the sexual exploitation of children. He was also a former cook and teacher’s assistant at the L.Y. Cairns Junior High School.





City police and members of a northern Alberta task force on child exploitation say officers seized hard drives and portable media devices from the suspect’s home that contained numerous pornographic images involving minors back in October.





Police also allege that, while he was employed at the school and actively volunteering, he was also online seeking out someone willing to “role-play” for him as a pre-teen girl.





Investigators, however, haven’t found any evidence to suggest that children from the charity or the school were victims in any crime, say police.





“Even though this collection wasn’t what I call a large collection, the fact that he was at a school and a volunteer at the Kids Kottage, obviously this bumps up the priority of this particular file,” said Staff Sgt. Howard Kunce. “It causes us to act immediately as soon as we possibly can.”





Gord Hanson, principal of the L.Y. Cairns School, says Tenetuik voluntarily resigned once learning of the charges. Hanson says parents were immediately notified once police approached the school last week. “When it first happened there was initial shock, but to be honest with you, we’ve moved on,” Hanson said. “We dealt with it last week and it’s business as usual here.”





Tenetuik is scheduled to make his first court appearance to answer to the charges in Edmonton on Feb. 26.




jeff.cummings@metronews.ca

 
 
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