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Musical therapist up on child porn charges spotted outside local elementary school: police


HALIFAX - Parents of children at Ecole Burton Ettinger School in Fairview received notes Tuesday about a man facing child porn charges being spotted outside the playground, which the school board spokesman says is “a concern for everyone.”

Robert William Harris

Halifax Regional Police say Robert William Harris, 47, was seen walking his dog on the sidewalk off Alex Street outside the school around 2:40 p.m. Friday, near the time students are dismissed.

“It’s obviously a concern for everyone involved,” said Halifax Regional School Board spokesman, Doug Hadley.

Police say the incident was reported to police Monday, and Harris was arrested and charged with breaching his conditions which include not being in a place where children could be present, including schools and daycares.

In February, Harris was arrested after members of the integrated Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit searched a home on Allan Street in Halifax and officers seized computer equipment.

He is now residing on Rosedale Avenue according to court documents, which is around the corner from Ecole Burton.

Harris was charged with making available child pornography, accessing child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Metro Halifax has learned Harris was a musical therapist who specializes in working with people, including children, who suffer from autism and mental and physical disabilities.

Police spokesmanConst. Pierre Bourdages said there is no evidence to suggest Harris was creating child porn, or spoke to any children on Friday.

“It is concerning given … he was seen where he’s not supposed to be,” he said.

Hadley said the teachers talked about the incident in school using “age- appropriate language” and what to do if approached by a stranger.

The school is also looking into “vigilance on school grounds” during recess and dismissal times, Hadley said.

“The staff are ensuring that they’re out on the playground, and that they are keeping an eye out,” he said.

Harris is due back in court on Sept. 25 and will remain released on conditions. .

Bail conditions for Robert William Harris include:

To not communicate with children under 16 years old, not be at any place where children may be expected to be present, remain under curfew, and not to be at any daycare, school ground, playground or community center.

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