Noted director facing child porn, luring charges

UPDATE 4-9-2013

Mike Walker, CTV Barrie LINK
Published Wednesday, September 4, 2013 6:48PM EDT
Sandy Thorburn is facing 19 new charges after investigators identified more victims.
OPP say Thorburn arranged to meet teenage girls at a hotel in Barrie. Today, he walked into the Orillia courthouse with his wife and family by his side. The 19 additional charges the music teacher and theatre director is facing include making and possessing child pornography, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, internet luring and juvenile prostitution.
Thorburn was arrested in July at the Monte Carlo Inn in Barrie. Investigators say he was with a 17-year-old girl, allegedly to make child pornography. Police say Thorburn met his victims online using different aliases and pretending to be a photographer and model scout.

“After his original arrest, police identified five more victims and as a result 19 charges were laid,” says Det. Insp. Scott Naylor. “On social media sites he was luring these young people under the disguise of a modeling agency and from there was luring them into other sexual-related activity.”
Thorburn is now facing a total of 25 charges. He stood before the judge and said nothing. Thorburn is free on bail but with strict house arrest conditions including having no access to the internet and he is not allowed to be in any public place where anyone under the age of 18 is present.
Investigators say they are confident there are no more victims, but the investigation is still ongoing and more charges could be laid. Thorburn will be back in court on Oct. 1.



UPDATE 23-7-2013:

Mike Walker, CTV Barrie
Published Monday, July 22, 2013 6:35PM EDT
Sandy Thorburn, a prominent music teacher and theatre director, walked out of the Barrie courthouse holding his wife’s hand and surrounded by family after being granted bail this afternoon.
Thorburn is facing a slew of charges for making and possessing child pornography, juvenile prostitution and Internet luring.
Thorburn was arrested 10 days ago at the Monte Carlo Inn in Barrie. Investigators say he was with a 17-year-old girl, allegedly to make child pornography.
Police began their investigation after receiving a number of complaints from young girls in the Barrie and Orillia areas. Investigators say Thorburn met his alleged victims online using different aliases and pretending to be a photographer and model scout.
Thorburn was released on $110,000 bail and into the custody of his wife. There is a long list of bail conditions.
Thorburn will placed under house arrest at his Toronto home and cannot leave without a court appointed supervisor. He is not allowed to access the Internet or any electronic device such as a computer or smart phone that can log onto the web. Thorburn is not allowed to be in a public area like parks or swimming pools where young people may be.
There is a publication ban on any evidence being discussed in court. Thorburn’s lawyer Sandy Nichols declined to comment, telling CTV News it is too early in the case.

None of the allegations against Thorburn have been proven in court.

After being released from the prisoner’s box, Thorburn left court surrounded by family members.

The investigation is ongoing. The OPP says more charges could be laid. Investigators are asking for any other victims to contact them. Thorburn’s next court appearance is Aug. 20.
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UPDATE 20-7-2013: 1000 Islands Playhouse issues statement.

Gananoque – On the evening of Monday, June 15, it was brought to the attention of the Thousand Islands Playhouse that Mr. Sandy Thorburn had been arrested and charged with criminal offences.

At this time, we are only aware of information that has been released publicly through the media and do not have further details of the pending investigation. Mr. Thorburn has been
associated with the Thousand Islands Playhouse for the past 26 years in a variety of capacities, most recently as the Resident Musical Director. In our 2013 season, this position involved the Musical Direction of “Suds” (May 24‐June22) and the coordination of the Studio ‘S’ Music Series.

In light of these serious charges, his association with the Thousand Islands Playhouse has been terminated. There will be no interruptions to any productions that have been scheduled and we will continue to deliver the high‐calibre of entertainment that we are known for.

Richard Van Dusen
General Manager
Thousand Islands Playhouse



KINGSTON – A man raised in Kingston who has played a prominent role in the local theatre scene has been charged with making child pornography after meeting with teenage girls at hotels in Orillia and Barrie under the impression he was a modeling photographer.

Sandy Thorburn, 49, of  Toronto, was arrested Friday in the parking lot of the Monte Carlo Inn on Hart Drive in Barrie while in the company of a 17-year-old girl, said Det.-Sgt. Terry Paddon, head of the OPP’s child sexual exploitation unit. He has been charged with one count of making child pornography, one count of possessing child pornography, two counts of juvenile prostitution and two counts of internet luring.

Thorburn grew up in Kingston and has played a prominent role in the area’s theatre scene as a a composer, arranger, director, including as the resident musical director for the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque. He’s also taught at universities such as Waterloo, McMaster, and Lakehead, at the Orillia campus.
Read full story at Kingston Whig Standard websitesandy thorburn musical director 1000 islands playhouse gananoque



Sandy Thorburn, a former music history instructor at the University of Waterloo, has been charged with several child pornography-related offences. His charges include making and possessing child pornography, juvenile prostitution and Internet luring.

Police arrested Sandy Thorburn, 49, who is a music and theatre director, at a hotel in Barrie where he was with a 17-year-old girl. Police allege he intended to make child pornography.
Thorburn was formerly a lecturer on music history at the University of Waterloo. He also taught at Lakehead University’s Orillia campus.
Ontario Provincial Police’s Orillia detachment and child sexual exploitation unit began investigating after several teenage girls in the Barrie and Orillia area reported that a stranger contacted them online claiming to represent modeling agencies and wanted to photograph them in exchange for money.
Thorburn allegedly met and paid the girls, ranging in age from 14 to 17, in several instances. Police allege Thorburn took photos of the girls for the purpose of making child pornography and also offered the teens money for sex in several of these meetings.
OPP Det. Insp. Scott Naylor alleges Thorburn used a fake social media identity to develop a trusting relationship with one of the girls online and then used her friends list to find the other teenage girls.
Police searched Thorburn’s home on Saturday and found several pieces of electronic evidence.
Thorburn allegedly used several identities including “Ryan Wardle,” “Lydia Lensky,” “Theron Spyra” and “Andre Stein” to present himself to his victims as the hired photographer, police said in a news release. He also allegedly claimed to represent modeling agencies named “Model Mayhem,” “Model Desire” and “”
Thorburn is directing and starring as narrator in Theatre Collingwood’s production of Billy Bishop Goes to War, scheduled to run until July 20.
The theatre’s website states he is a music director at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, (since 1986), and has directed music for more than 50 productions.