Beer ads actor pleads guilty to child porn

A Toronto actor best known for his work in a popular Canadian beer commercial has pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography on the Internet.

Robert Smith changed his not-guilty plea after his defence lawyer, Cindy Wasser, abandoned a constitutional challenge of the search warrant used by police to obtain Smith’s subscriber information from the Internet service provider, as well as the warrant executed at his home in North Toronto.

Assistant Crown attorney Allison Dellandrea successfully argued Internet subscribers do not have an expectation of privacy when they sign up for file sharing networks nor is Internet subscriber information confidential.

The 42-year-old actor played a boorish Scotsman in TV ads for Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale. They were taken off the air after his arrest on Feb. 14, 2006.

In an agreed statement of facts read by Dellandrea, Smith admits to two counts of possessing child pornography and one of making it available. He also “identified for investigators the specific location of the compact disks containing this material within his home” and stated his “wife did not know that he had any of this material.”

The father of two is expected back in court Monday for sentencing. He could be jailed for up to two years.

The Best of Popjournalism