A Winnipeg man who faces a number of sex-related charges, including sexual interference and making child pornography, is now running for office in Manitoba.
Darrell Ackman, who is out on bail on the charges, has been officially declared an Independent candidate in the Sept. 4 byelection in Fort Whyte, a riding in the Winnipeg area.
Ackman, 43, had been filming young women in Winnipeg and posting the videos on YouTube under the name "MrJetztv."
In addition to sexual interference and making and publishing child pornography, he has also been charged with sexual assault and living off the avails of prostitution.
But being charged with a crime does not prevent anyone from being an election candidate, says Alison Mitchell, a spokesperson with Elections Manitoba.
"Credibility doesn't fall within our mandate. It's eligibility that we look at," Mitchell told CBC News on Monday.
"We don't have the mandate to look at any other factors outside of that."
Names will be checked
Elections Manitoba confirmed that Ackman has submitted the names of more than 100 voters in Fort Whyte who support his candidacy, a requirement for all prospective candidates.
Mitchell said that list of names will be checked out.
"We do check every single one to ensure that they are eligible voters on the voter's list, so we do know that they are real people, that they're voters," she said.
Mitchell added that if a person is convicted of a serious offence after being elected, and is sentenced to at least five years behind bars, that person would have to step down.
The Fort Whyte seat was vacated on July 30 following the resignation of Hugh McFadyen, former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.
Ackman will be running against new PC Leader Brian Pallister, who is seeking a seat in the provincial legislature, as well as NDP candidate Brandy Schmidt, Liberal Bob Axworthy and Green Party candidate Donnie Benham.
Ackman told CBC News he will be running as "MrJetztv" because the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg is what he's all about.
Officials with the Winnipeg Jets have said the team has nothing to do with Ackman.
Charges relate to teens
The charges against Ackman relate to four girls, all of whom are 14 years old and considered at-risk youth, Winnipeg police said after he was arrested.
It is believed that Ackman approached the girls on the street and got them involved in street prostitution and escort agencies, police said, adding they believe he had intended to sell the pornography.
Ackman, who is from Winnipeg, had also spent some time living in Florida, where he was arrested in April 2010 for prostitution-related offences.
He was charged under Florida state law with deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution and transporting a person for the purpose of prostitution, according to his arrest and notice to appear document.
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