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Wednesday , 18 May 2022

Former Cold Lake teacher facing new child pornography charges after ALERT investigation

A former Cold Lake teacher is facing multiple charges related to voyeurism and child pornography following an ALERT investigation that revealed he allegedly filmed students using the school’s changerooms.

On Tuesday, ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit announced new charges to James Neil Morrison, a former teacher at Assumption Junior/Senior High School within the Lakeland Catholic School Division.

The 34-year-old was charged on April 20, 2022 with voyeurism, making child pornography, theft of electronic data, and possession of child pornography.

Morrison was initially arrested in April 2021 after it was alleged he had recorded a student changing their clothes in the school.

Cold Lake RCMP handled the initial complaint and arrest and in November 2021 ICE took over the investigation, ALERT said in a press release. 

ICE’s investigation uncovered additional offences, following a forensic analysis of Morrison’s computer and electronic devices. ICE identified 10 student victims who were being secretly filmed at the school with the offences dating back to 2013.

“Undoubtedly this is a traumatic experience for the students, their families, and the school. These offences date back a number of years and came as a shock to many of the victims,” said Sgt. Kerry Shima, Internet Child Exploitation team in the press release. 

ICE’s investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Cold Lake RCMP or Crime Stoppers (1-877-222-8477).

Update: Lakeland Catholic statement 

After the information was released, Lakeland Catholic School Division released a statement about the matter, stating that since the initial incident in April 2021, Morrison was immediately removed from the school and told not to return or contact any students or staff.

Statement:

“Today, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) issued a news release regarding new criminal charges laid against James Neil Morrison on the basis that he allegedly surreptitiously filmed students using the school’s changerooms at Assumption Jr/Sr High School.  

“ICE Unit have advised that at this time, the victims who were allegedly filmed by the accused have been contacted by the police.  

“The division would like to confirm the individual accused was immediately removed from the school once the division was notified of an incident in April 2021 and directed not to attend the school premises or to contact any staff or students. Since that time, the individual accused has not returned to the school and is no longer employed with the school division.  

“The division is committed to ensuring a safe school environment for our students and ensuring we meet our responsibilities under the Education Act. If you have any questions or comments  regarding the school or division, please do not hesitate to immediately contact Superintendent of  Schools Pamela Guilbault at [email protected] or 780-826-3764. 

“Should you have any questions or information regarding the criminal matter, please the Cold Lake RCMP (780-594-3302) or Crime Stoppers (1-877-222-8477). 

“The division appreciates its ongoing relationship with the RCMP.”

Update at 2:15pm, May 4, 2022. 

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.