N.B. principal pleads guilty to charges involving children
Kirk Matheson used computer to contact minors for purpose of committing offence
CBC News Posted: Aug 27, 2012 4:26 PM AT Last Updated: Aug 27, 2012 7:29 PM AT
A high school principal from the Miramichi area has pleaded guilty to two charges involving children, but two other sex charges against him have been dropped.
Kirk Matheson, 37, pleaded guilty in Miramichi provincial court Monday to using a computer to contact two separate minors with the purpose of committing an offence.
The RCMP allege Matheson, who was the principal and volleyball coach at North and South Esk Regional High School in Sunny Corner, posed on the internet as a woman and tried to entice boys to send him nude photos of themselves.
Matheson, who is no longer listed as the principal on the school’s website, was also facing charges of possession of child pornography and attempting to commission child pornography.
But those charges were dropped by the Crown prosecutors as about five students and other members of the community quietly looked on in court.
It’s unclear why those charges were dropped.
Sentencing in November
Matheson, who said very little during his court appearance,declined to comment outside the courthouse.
He remains on release in the community until his sentencing on Nov. 13.
Matheson has been on strict conditions, including staying away from the school, having no direct or indirect contact with anyone under the age of 18, with the exception of his niece and nephew in the presence of one of their parents, and not to use a computer or any other data-sharing device.
Although Matheson was greeted by several angry people during previous court appearances, being taunted and called names, such as “pedophile,” there were no disruptions on Monday.
Matheson’s defence lawyer Gary Miller declined to comment following the proceedings, but there were early indications something was afoot with the case.
While the judge was dealing with other cases, Miller was in and out of the courtroom several times, sometimes taking Matheson with him and having a discussion.
When the court was ready to deal with Matheson, Miller asked to speak to prosecutors and court recessed. About 40 minutes later, the court heard two of the charges were being dropped.
Investigators identified two alleged victims from the Miramichi area.
The alleged offences occurred between February and April of this year.
Matheson was arrested at his home on April 20 after the RCMP Internet Child Exploitation Unit received information.