Darrell Ackman—better known to most Winnipeggers as Mr. Jetz TV—has been approved to run as an independent in the upcoming provincial by-election in Fort Whyte.
But his political career won’t last long if he happens to win and charges—including he made pornographic videos with girls as young as 14—stick in court.
“If a sitting member… is convicted of a serious offence and sentenced to five years or more in prison, they would no longer be able to sit in the house,” explained Alison Mitchell from Elections Manitoba of the rules outlined in the Legislative Assembly Act. “The term used in the act is an indictable offence.”
Police confirmed with Metro Monday the charges Ackman faces are indictable.
Earlier this month Wininpeg police charged Ackman, 43, with three counts of living on the avails of prostitution, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference, a charge of making, printing, and publishing child pornography, possessing child pornography and invitation to sexual touching.
Police first charged Ackman with living off the avails of prostitution July 23 for allegedly pimping underage girls through an escort service. The additional charges, including making child porn and sexual assault were added later, following a raid at a Winnipeg home.
“These children are certainly preyed upon and taken advantage of, and exploited,” said Inst. Gord Perrier at the time. “This activity is definitely illegal, and sex with children is wrong.”
Under Manitoba law a person charged criminally can run as a candidate as long as they—or a representative on their behalf—collects 100 signatures from eligible voters within the electoral division, and they are not currently imprisoned.
“Basically anyone who is eligible to vote may also be nominated as a candidate,” explained Mitchell, noting there are a few disqualifications including an election offence conviction within the last five years. “(Ackman) does not fall within any of those categories, so he is eligible to run.”
Voters in Fort Whyte go to the polls Sept. 4, and candidates on the ballot include Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister, Brandy Schmidt of the NDP, Liberal Bob Axworthy, and Donnie Benham of the Green Party.