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Australian man facing child pornography charges released from custody

Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island
Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island - SaltWire Network

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - An Australian doctor facing child pornography charges on P.E.I. was released from custody Friday under several stringent conditions.

Dr. Stephen Peter Menzies Murray, a 57-year-old skin care specialist from Frenchville, Queensland is charged with possessing, making and distributing child pornography.

Crown attorney Nathan Beck says all of the charges relate solely to written material.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.

A Justice of the Peace agreed to release Murray from custody under 10 conditions put forward by Beck, who voiced concerns Murray posed a flight risk.

Perhaps the most notable condition is Murray must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, a condition that would normally go against provincial policy in P.E.I. when releasing an accused before his or her charges are dealt with in court.

Beck told the justice of the peace that due to the “unique circumstances’’ of this case, the province was agreeable.

RELATED: Australian man arrested in Charlottetown in regards to child pornography charges

In addition to posting a $10,000 bond, conditions of release include Murray continuing to forfeit his passport, which is currently in the possession of the RCMP.

Murray must also check in with the Queens RCMP once a week before 5 p.m. Friday. He must keep the peace and be of good behavior.

Murray is not allowed to attend a public park or other areas where people under 16 years of age are present or are likely to be present nor may he communicate with any persons under 16 with the exception of his immediate family.

Murray is denied access to or use of Internet except for work purposes, communicating with legal counsel or family, and establishing residence on P.E.I.

He is to have no contact with a specific person, but Beck was not willing to tell the media the reasoning behind this condition.

The final condition of Murray’s release is that he remains outside a 10-kilometre radius of the Confederation Bridge, the Wood Islands ferry terminal and that he stays away from the Charlottetown Airport.

The story has made international headlines with media in the United Kingdom and Australia covering the story.

RCMP Sgt. Leanne Butler said the RCMP is doing a joint investigation with Australian police.

According to RCMP, Murray had only been in P.E.I. for a day or two prior to his arrest.

The RCMP said with the member of the public’s assistance it was able to quickly begin an investigation and make the arrest before the accused was able to leave the province.

Murray is scheduled to appear in court next on Nov. 1 in Georgetown for election.

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