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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian Oly archer faces child pornography charges

Posted: 02/13/2009 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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TORONTO -- A 20-year-old member of the 2008 Canadian Olympic archery team has been charged with child pornography offences, his coach said Thursday.

John David Burnes was arrested in Kingston, Ont., as part of an Ontario-wide child pornography sweep last week that resulted in 93 charges against 31 people. He has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of making available child pornography.

Burnes, born in Toronto and now a student at Queen's University in Kingston, competed in Beijing this summer and placed 63rd in his event.

His coach, Joan McDonald, confirmed to The Canadian Press that Burnes the archer is the young man facing child pornography charges.

McDonald said she learned of the charges from the media.

"They called me and asked me the question and I called his parents," said McDonald, who added Burnes's parents confirmed the charges.

She called the situation a tragedy, adding, "it's always a tragedy when young people are in trouble."

McDonald said she would not discuss the charges further.

"In Canada you're innocent until you're proven guilty."

Michael Chambers, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, called the charges troubling.

"It's disturbing when you hear a charge of that nature is laid against anyone," Chambers said from Whistler, B.C.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 13, 2009 C2

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