Child porn charges raise questions on hiring policy

One of the men facing child pornography charges has worked as an educational assistant at Teslin’s elementary school.

One of the men facing child pornography charges has worked as an educational assistant at Teslin’s elementary school.

John Cafferata was allegedly found with “a collection of printed photographs of naked female children,” according to court documents.

He allegedly possessed 17,000 digital images on his personal computer and had written material describing violent and sexual assaults on children, said the documents, which were filed on September 10.

Last week, RCMP charged the 54-year-old with possessing and accessing child pornography.

Yukon government reps have refused to comment on Cafferata’s work at the school and his current status as an employee.

They said they could not discuss personnel issues.

But the affair has raised questions about the Yukon government’s screening policies for those hired to work with children.

All government employees hired under the Yukon Education Act are required to pass a security clearance, said Christie Whitley, an assistant deputy minister in the Education department.

“We have a very high level of clearance — what’s called a level three clearance — and this kind of check reveals whether an individual has ever been pardoned or investigated for a crime involving children,” said Whitley.

“It’s pretty rigorous.”

The Education department’s volunteers in the schools policy states people in any position of authority over a student must also consent to a criminal record check, according to the department’s website.

Does the government have a response to the charges against Cafferata?

“We can’t discuss personnel issues,” answered Whitley.

“If any employee is charged with a crime, the department would conduct its own investigation,” said Whitley.

And each case is handled on a case-by-case basis.

Officials at the Teslin school could not be reached for comment.

The community recently held a meeting to discuss the issue.

“There were concerns, but they know it’s being handled,” said Whitley.

“They are very comfortable with how things are being handled.”

Cafferata was released on bail earlier this week.

Records state he must comply with the following conditions:

He is not to be in the company of anyone under 14, and must not be found in any public place including schools, pools, playgrounds, daycares and community centres where people under the age of 14 might be.

He must report to a bail officer and notify of any change in address or employment.

He must report to the Teslin RCMP when he arrives or leaves the community.

And he is not to possess any computer system, electronic communication device, or cellphone, and he is not to access the internet for any reason.

A second man was also charged in connection with the national child pornography investigation.

Sixty-year-old Brian George Nowazek, of Whitehorse, was also charged with one count of possession and one count of accessing child pornography.

Nowazek was also charged with 19 firearms offences including seven counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm, five counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited firearm and five counts of contravening firearm storage regulations.

Police seized computers at both the Whitehorse and Teslin residences and sent them to the RCMP technical crime unit in BC for forensic examination.

Just Posted

Car crashes through Whitehorse school fence

2 people taken to hospital, no kids hurt

Tagish dog rescue owner asks for court order to get rid of dogs to be put on hold

Shelley Cuthbert argued forcing her to get rid of all but two dogs would cause ‘irreparable harm’

No vacancy: Whitehorse family spends five months seeking housing

‘I didn’t think it would be this hard’

Bedbug situation in Whitehorse building becoming intolerable, resident says

Gabriel Smarch said he’s been dealing with bedbugs since he moved into his apartment 15 years ago

Yukon government transfers responsibility for Native Language Centre to CYFN

‘At the end of the day the importance is that First Nations have control of the language’

The week in Yukon mining

Goldcorp re-submits Coffee plans, Mount Nansen sale looms, Kudz Ze Kayah comments open

Ice, ice, baby: scaling a frozen Yukon waterfall

‘There’s a really transformative affect with adventure’

Says Marwell is problematic, requests council further hash it out

You can buy alcohol and tobacco on Main Street in Whitehorse —… Continue reading

Yukon history is picture post card perfect

The most interesting gift I received at Christmas this year was the… Continue reading

Contentious Whitehorse quarry proposal raises city hackles

‘We’ve had concerns from the get-go on this one’

Whitehorse time machine

Yukon’s capital added 10,000 people over the last three decades, no YESAB application needed

How to make sure your car starts in the cold

It’s about more than just making sure your plug works

Whitehorse fuel delivery company fined $1,100 for Rancheria crash

The Crown stayed two other charges against the company related to the Aug. 7, 2017, crash

Most Read