Olympian's child porn charges shelved

John David Burnes of Canada takes aim during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. (Ruben...

John David Burnes of Canada takes aim during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. (Ruben Sprich/Reuters/Files)

SUE YANAGISAWA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:05 AM ET

KINGSTON, ONT. - Child pornography charges against a former Olympian were stayed Friday after a judge found his right to trial within a reasonable time had been offended.

John David Burnes, 25, was 20 and a student at Queen’s University in late January 2009 when he was netted, along with 30 others, in a provincewide police sweep targeting online child pornography.

There was never any suggestion that those charged were connected to each other: they were just caught in the same operation.

And Burnes had the highest profile.

He’d won an individual bronze medal and a team silver in archery at the 2007 Canada Winter Games, a silver medal in a junior category at the 2006 Canadian Archery Championships, and competed as the youngest member of Canada’s 2008 Olympic archery team, finishing 63rd the previous summer in Beijing.

But in early February 2009, Burnes had been arrested on charges of possessing child pornography and making child pornography available, and was held briefly in custody here before being released on a $1,000 bond to live with his father in Toronto.

His case remained in Kingston’s Ontario Court of Justice through 2009 and 2010.

His preliminary hearing eventually began, with new counsel, in mid-December 2011 and continued with lawyer Jonathan Shime in March 2012.

On March 27, 2012, Burnes was committed to stand trial in Superior Court on both charges with dates eventually set for July 2013.

Shime by then was advancing charter grounds for having the case shelved, unreasonable delay in bringing the matters to trial among them.

With Friday's decision, the Crown's office is “reviewing its options' regarding the staying of the charges.


Videos

Photos