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Peel Social Worker Charged
January 17, 2008 permalink
Peel social worker Norman Bain, a scout leader and former board member of Big Brothers, has been charged in an international hunt for child pornography. Kiddie porn encompasses a lot of innocent victims, such as parents taking baby pictures and teenaged lovers exchanging pictures of each other, so we reserve judgment on the seriousness of the charges. Still, this is another indication that social workers do not come from the same tradition as Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa.
Peel school social worker on bail
9 Canadians nabbed in European kiddie porn probe, more expected
He's been a social worker, a Big Brother, a scout leader -- and now he's accused in an international child porn investigation.
But one thing Norman Blain isn't is chatty.
"I have no comment for the press," Blain said yesterday from his Brampton residence, where he's been on home assignment from his Peel District School Board job since getting bail Jan. 11.
"He continues to be paid pending the outcome of the investigation," board spokesman Brian Woodland said of the long-time school social worker.
"We've been told by the Peel Regional Police that the charges are in no way connected to his work."
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada confirmed he was a volunteer in southwestern Ontario in the 1980s and a board member in Peel in 1993, without incident or complaint, president Bruce MacDonald said.
"We've taken a look at the case files and there's nothing untoward," MacDonald said.
It's frustrating for the group to be dragged into such an investigation when there's no suggestion the charge is related to those years, he said.
"We believe we're doing everything reasonably possible to protect children," MacDonald said.
Blain, 45, was arrested Jan. 4 and charged with possessing child pornography.
Yesterday, new details about the on-line child abuse ring based in Europe Blain is accused of patronizing were released by the RCMP.
"The Internet is a virtual world but the crimes and the children are real," RCMP Supt. Earla-Kim McColl said. "Possession of child pornography is an incentive to production and all production necessitates the use, exploitation and abuse of a child."
Children were brutally abused and penetrated orally, vaginally and anally in the videos, McColl said.
Dubbed Project Koala because it started when Australian police discovered a child abuse video in 2006, the investigation eventually led to Italian Sergio Marzola.
Police in Europe say he was producing hundreds of made-to-order child abuse films with pre-pubescent girls.
His on-line customers could pay by credit card or cash hidden in envelopes, dictate the kind of activity they wanted to see and could even bid for the lingerie the child victims wore as they were abused.
More than 20 children in Europe have been identified as victims so far and although no Canadian children are among them, McColl said police have evidence one suspect here asked how he could get his daughters involved.
Cops found about 2,500 customers in Marzola's database, 98 of whom are believed to be Canadian. Nine men have been charged so far, including an Edmonton man and a Victoria resident who allegedly had a telescope trained on a nearby schoolyard, and 50 other suspects have been identified.
"There will be more arrests. There are a number of identified individuals that will be contacted shortly," McColl said.