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Manitoba musician jailed for child porn on cruise ship

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Sean Bell is pictured in a Facebook profile photo.

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Sean Bell is pictured in a Facebook profile photo.

A Manitoba-based musician has admitted to stashing child pornography on the international cruise ship he was working on.

Sean Richard Bell, 37, pleaded guilty today in a Halifax courtroom to possession under the Criminal Code and smuggling under the Customs Act.

He received a three-month sentence under a joint-recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers. Bell was given credit for three weeks he spent in custody prior to being released on bail earlier this summer. That leaves him with 69 days on his sentence going forward.

Bell was also given a one year probation order which requires him to take sex offender treatment. He has also been placed on the national sex offender registry for ten years and must provide a DNA sample to the federal databank.

Bell, a resident of Morden, was arrested June 3 when his employer – the Holland America Veendam – made a scheduled stop in Nova Scotia. Officials with Canada Border Services made the discovery while doing a routine search of the ship in port.

A hard drive contained approximately 70 images and videos of mostly naked teenaged boys, court was told.

Bell briefly returned to Manitoba following his arrest after posing a $5,000 surety which allowed him to live in his hometown under several conditions, including having no contact with children under the age of 16 and staying off the Internet.

He headed back east this week to resolve his case and left the courtroom today in handcuffs.

Bell was a performer in Neptunes Trio on board the ship, and had been working cruise lines since 2006, according to an online biography. He has since been fired.

"He loves playing music and traveling so he’s living out his dream job. If you dream it, you can do it!!" his profile reads. Bell is a vocalist and pianist who specializes in jazz, ballroom, rock and pop genres.

Under new federal legislation, Bell faced a mandatory jail sentence upon conviction. Fines, probation and community-based sentences are no longer permitted as the country tries to crack down on the growing problem of child pornography.

www.mikeoncrime.com

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