Ex-teacher guilty again of possessing child porn

SURREY – A retired Surrey teacher will spend three months’ worth of weekends in jail after pleading guilty – for the second time in less than a decade – to possessing child pornography.

George Kraus, 69, lives alone in his White Rock condo, supported by his BCTF pension. He had worked as a teacher at Laronde Elementary School in South Surrey, and White Rock Elementary before being busted with 27,000 pictures of naked children in 2005.

In that case, the Crown sought an 18-month jail sentence but Kraus received 14 months’ house arrest.

In this latest case, again in Surrey provincial court, Crown prosecutor Bev Lane sought a six-month jail sentence while defence lawyer Michael Bolton argued for a 90-day sentence, to be served intermittently. Both lawyers also argued for three years probation.

Lane said Kraus reappeared on police radar after a business in Toronto was searched in 2012, under “Project Spade,” and found to be selling child porn. All told, 348 people were arrested worldwide -108 in Canada -with teachers, doctors, pastors, foster parents and nurses among them.

Lane said invoices led police to Kraus.

They searched his home and found four films that police decided were child porn and others containing child nudity.

The films showed boys ages 10 to 12 in their underwear, a boy with a prostitute, and boys ages nine to 15 tossing confetti on one anothers’ private parts.

There was some debate in court as to whether two of the films, which were made more than 30 years ago, were actually child porn. Bolton noted that one of them, a

Brazilian movie, had won an Air France award and Sweden had nominated the other as its candidate for an academy award.

“Police claim it’s child pornography. There are two views on it,” Bolton said.

Judge Ellen Gordon noted that today’s society has a different view since they were released 32 and 34 years ago. “We have to protect children,” she said.

Bolton told the court that if the case had hinged on those two films alone, the matter would have gone to trial.

Kraus entered a guilty plea based on the other films, he said.

Gordon asked Kraus if he had anything to say.

“The press painted a very black picture of me,” he told the court. He added that he’s been in deep denial. When he learned the boys may have been coerced or in captivity, he said, his reaction was, “I was involved in that, wow. It really hit me very hard.”

Lane noted that the videos were “not as extreme” as others that had been before the courts.

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