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New charges of child pornography laid against former Cold Lake teacher

On Wednesday, a division of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT), the Internet Child Exploitation Unit, laid new charges against 34-year-old James Neil Morrison a former Assumption Jr/Sr High School teacher, which involve 10 other student victims.
ALERT
New charges were laid by ALERT's Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit against former Assumption Jr/Sr High School teacher James Neil Morrison on April 20, 2022.

COLD LAKE – A former Cold Lake teacher is facing multiple new charges related to voyeurism and child pornography following an Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) investigation. 

James Neil Morrison, a former Assumption Jr/Sr High School teacher within the Lakeland Catholic School Division (LCSD), was arrested by ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit on the basis that he allegedly filmed students in changing rooms. 

Charges were laid against the 34-year-old on April 20, related to voyeurism, making child pornography, theft of electronic data, and possession of child pornography, according to a statement by ALERT released Wednesday. 

These are new charges against Morrison, who was initially arrested and charged in April of 2021 after it was alleged he had recorded a student changing their clothes at Assumption school.

The trial for these matters has been set to commence on Sept. 12 to 20 at St. Paul Court of Queen's Bench.

At the time, Morrison was immediately suspended from his position at Lakeland Catholic and had been directed not to attend the school premises or to contact any staff or students. 

RELATED STORY: RCMP charged with child pornography-related offences   

Cold Lake RCMP handled the initial complaint and his arrest in 2021. In November, ICE took over the investigation. 

“ICE’s investigation uncovered additional offences, following a forensic analysis of Morrison’s computer and electronic devices,” states ALERT. 

ICE has since identified 10 student victims who were being secretly filmed at the school with offences dating back to 2013, according to the policing organization. 

“Undoubtedly, this is a traumatic experience for the students, their families, and the school,” said Sgt. Kerry Shima, a member of the Internet Child Exploitation team. 

“These offences date back a number of years and came as a shock to many of the victims.” 

Lakeland Catholic 

Following the announcement of additional charges being laid against the former LCSD teacher, the school division released its own statement to address the matter. 

The division reiterated that LCSD acted immediately after receiving a complaint that involved a 16-year-old on April 23, 2021. 

“Since that time, the individual accused has not returned to the school and is no longer employed with the school division,” states a media release from LCSD. 

“The division is committed to ensuring a safe school environment for our students and ensuring we meet our responsibilities under the Education Act.” 

LCSD also indicated that police have contacted the victims who were allegedly filmed by the accused, based on information they received from the ICE Unit. 

Further, anyone with questions or comments regarding the school or division is encouraged to contact Lakeland Catholic’s Superintendent of Schools, Pamela Guilbault, at pguilbault@lrcssd.ca or 780-826-3764. 

ICE’s investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Cold Lake RCMP (780-594-3302) or Crime Stoppers (1-877-222-8477).