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80 people charged in online child porn bust

by News Staff

Posted Apr 28, 2016 10:20 am EDT

Last Updated Apr 28, 2016 at 7:47 pm EDT

Ontario provincial police have laid charges against 80 people, including a young offender, in an online child porn bust.

They’re facing 274 charges, OPP Supt. Don Bell said Thursday, including sexual assault.

“The most fundamental responsibility of any society is to protect its children. Every child has the right to be nurtured and the right to be safe,” Bell said in a statement.


Police identified 20 victims, who have since been offered counselling and other assistance. Police also found nine people who were working the sex trade against their will, including 14-, 15-, and 16-year-olds.

The bulk of the charges relate to sexual assault, child pornography and exploitation, but police said several counts also concern drugs and weapons.

Bell said the investigation involved collaboration with the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, United States Homeland Security, and 26 municipal police forces across Ontario.

He said the wide range of ages and jurisdictions involved in the probe shines a light on how pervasive and devastating the problem is.

“The most fundamental responsibility of any society is to protect our children. Every child has the right to be nurtured and to be safe,” Bell told a news conference. “Every image of child pornography represents a child victim. Every trading or transmission of that image represents a revictimization of that child.”


To report possible child porn: www.cybertip.ca

For survivor services: www.boostforkids.org

Click here for the full list of the names and charges. Milton daycare teacher Steven Campbell is among the people arrested.

In one incident flagged by Toronto police, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly befriended by two men who lured her with the promise of lucrative work, then shuttled her to hotels around the city to perform sexual services.

Police allege the men also sexually assaulted her themselves in a vehicle. They are now facing a total of 15 charges and appear on the list of those arrested in the provincewide sweep, which involved executing 174 warrants.

The OPP indicated that the number of people charged is expected to rise, adding they had made additional arrests on Thursday and expected more in the coming days.

But Bell said tackling the problem would involve more than simply laying charges.

“We cannot arrest ourselves out of this phenomenon,” he said. “Our community partners are extremely important. Our educators are extremely

The provincial strategy began in August of 2006. Not including these arrests, police say they have laid 11,408 charges against 3,310 people. During that period, 870 child victims have been identified in Ontario. Another 173 child victims were identified internationally.

– With Files from the Canadian Press

Man, teen girl accused of forcing another teen into sex trade

by News staff

Posted Feb 26, 2016 7:20 am EST

Toronto police have charged Courtney Rocker, 39, in a human trafficking investigation on Feb. 23, 2016. TORONTO POLICE SERVICE

A 16-year-old girl is one of two people facing charges in a human trafficking investigation.

Police said in February the teen recruited and forced another 16-year-old girl into the sex trade in Niagara Falls and Toronto.

The girl allegedly took the victim from Hamilton to a hotel in Niagara Falls where she took photos of the victim and posted them on online site advertising sexual services.

Later in the month, the girl introduced the victim to a man in Toronto, who along with the suspect used drugs and alcohol to control the victim.

The teen was forced to have sex with several clients in Niagara Falls and Toronto, and turn over all the money to the suspects. The man also sexually assaulted the victim.

Courtney Rocker, 39, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with seven offences including trafficking of a person under the age of 18 and sexual assault.

The teenage girl who is charged cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. She is charged with four trafficking-related offences.

Both suspects appeared in court on Wednesday.

Police believe there may be other victims

Teen boy poses as 15-year-old girl to lure child, police say

by News Staff

Posted Nov 18, 2015 6:59 am EST

A 17-year-old boy is facing several child porn-related charges after it is alleged he posed as a 15-year-old girl to lure a child.

Police allege that between September of 2014 and April of 2015, the suspect posed as a young girl and obtained a child’s images, which were then distributed.

Police say the suspect communicated with the child through various social media applications including Kik, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. He allegedly used the usernames of “Amanda” and “Pencilcrayons,” among others.

He used an image of an known actress who police say is not connected to the investigation for his online profile. Click here to view it.

The suspect, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was arrested on Monday.

He is charged with two counts of distributing child pornography, possessing child pornography, accessing child pornography, luring a child under 18, and extortion. He appeared in court on Tuesday.

Police fear there may be more victims


Canadian tourist arrested in Nepal on child sex abuse charges

Traffic is seen on a street in Kathmandu, Nepal, on March 21, 2014. FLICKR/Taema Dreiden

Traffic is seen on a street in Kathmandu, Nepal, on March 21, 2014. FLICKR/Taema Dreiden

A Canadian tourist has been arrested in Nepal on charges he lured a nine-year-old boy to his hotel room and had sex with him, a police official said Saturday.

Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh, 71, was arrested at a hotel in Lalitpur, a suburb south of the capital, Kathmandu.

He was ordered detained by the district court until the charges could be further investigated, Lalitpur’s police chief Pushpa Ranjit said.

MacIntosh arrived in Nepal on a tourist visa in August 2014, and was a frequent visitor to the children’s shelter where the boy lived, and they met there, police said. They also said that Macintosh has been accused of threatening the boy.

The Himalayan Times quoted a spokesperson with the Metropolitan Police Range in Jawalakhel as saying the alleged incident at the hotel occurred on Dec. 13.

The newspaper report said police received a complaint from the family of the alleged victim on Dec. 19 that a Canadian tourist lured him into a room at a guest house.

Police declined to provide further details because the case involves a minor, however, they said they were trying to determine whether there might be other alleged victims.

If convicted, MacIntosh could face up to 10 years in jail.

In 2013, an Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh had 17 child sex offence convictions in Nova Scotia quashed after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled his case took too long to go to trial.

He was accused of sexually abusing boys in Cape Breton in the 1970s and the allegations surfaced in 1995, when he was living in India.

But he wasn’t extradited until 2007, and the first of his two trials in Nova Scotia didn’t start until 2010. His convictions were quashed in April 2013.

A Foreign Affairs spokesman in Ottawa said department officials were aware of the situation in Nepal, but did not provide any other details.

With files from the Canadian Press

Police renew interest in Morin case on anniversary of girl's disappearance

Toronto police have released a reenactment video of events surrounding the abduction of Nicole Morin on the event's 29th anniversary.


Sandie Benitah, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014 6:09AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:09PM EDT

It’s been 29 years since eight-year-old Toronto girl Nicole Morin went missing but police say they receive a number of tips each year that help keep the case alive

Nicole was last seen at around 11 a.m. on July 30, 1985. She left her Etobicoke apartment to go swimming with a friend but her family never saw her again. Police believe she never made it to the lobby where she was supposed to meet her friend.

On Wednesday, police released a re-enactment video of they believe to be Nicole's last steps. It was taped in the same building where she went missing. It shows her leaving an apartment at 627 The West Mall wearing a bathing suit and holding a towel, walking down the hallway and then inside an elevator.

Police are not sure whether the little girl even made it to the elevator or if she was taken by someone who boarded the elevator with her.

Her disappearance sparked one of the most exhaustive searches in Toronto police history.

More than 15,000 hours have been put into the investigation. A 20-person task force was created and more than 900 community members joined the search.

Police say none of the leads they've received have led to concrete evidence in the case but they are hoping new tools like social media will help generate new public interest and perhaps even some new tips.

Det. Sgt. Madelaine Tretter spoke to the media at a news conference Wednesday saying that investigators have spoken to people over the years and have even reinterviewed some witnesses.

She's said she's hoping someone would have spoken with whoever was involved in Nicole's disappearance, saying criminals tend to brag about their feats.

Back in the day, DNA testing was in its infancy and so while investigators combed the building for clues, no forensic samples were collected.

Tretter said police have kept in touch with the girl who was waiting for Nicole in the lobby.

Back in 1985, that girl called Nicole from the building's telecom downstairs as they had plans to go swimming in the building's pool. Nicole said she would come right downstairs. The friend waited around 15 minutes in the lobby and then called up again but Nicole's mom said she had already left. The friend soon left to go to the pool by herself.

Nicole's mom didn't realize she was missing until later that day.

Police say they have interviewed Nicole's family and friends and all of them have been cleared of wrongdoing.

Nicole's mother passed away seven years ago but her father, who was not at the news conference Wednesday, has said to media that he is holding out hope Nicole will be found alive.

Read more: http://www.cp24.com/police-renew-interest-in-morin-case-on-anniversary-of-girl-s-disappearance-1.1938285#ixzz392idQYQd

Ontario forced to reveal sex offenders’ postal codes, though not addresses

Ontarians can now get at least a rough idea of where sex offenders live in their province, thanks to a long legal battle waged on their behalf by a media organization.


Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has been forced to provide Global News with a database of sex offenders by postal code following a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The provincial government spent six years fighting an access-to-information request from Global after Ontario's information and privacy commissioner ruled the network could have the information.

The Ontario Superior Court or Court of Appeal upheld the commissioner's ruling but it took Canada's high court to pry loose the information.

"Three different Courts have now sided with my office on this issue, which is a good indicator that we were on the right side of this matter," Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian said in a news release. "It is truly unfortunate how many years and resources have been wasted on this pursuit."

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said the commissioner's decision on access requests "deserve deference," and that in the past the court has recognized the office's expertise in weighing privacy rights in a law-enforcement context.

[ Related: Privacy watchdog slams Toronto police for sharing suicide-attempt reports with U.S. ]

Aside from giving citizens information about where potentially dangerous offenders live, the ruling has a broader impact across Canada on what information governments can withhold, Cavoukian said.

"What this means is that a 'trust me' model will no longer suffice: institutions must now demonstrate a reasonable expectation of probable [not possible] harm, which must be based on something other than a mere belief," she said.

"In short, the court stated that all provincial FOI statutes that employ the same language should adopt the 'reasonable expectation of probable harm' test, which requires proof well beyond the level of mere possibility. The Supreme Court ruling is a vote in favour of transparency, and, in turn, privacy."

Cavoukian told Global News the government's continued legal resistance to her initial ruling was an "unbelievable" waste of taxpayer dollars. Given strong decisions in the lower courts, the Supreme Court appeal had almost no chance of success.

“There was no risk to personal privacy, so privacy was not an issue," she said. "There was no public safety issue here.”

The government had argued publishing the data could lead to the identification of registered sex offenders, though it was never able to provide evidence of this.

U.S. publicly available sex-offender registries often include detailed information such as home addresses and sometimes resulted in offenders being attacked. But the data Cavoukian authorized for release is limited to the postal codes where offenders live.

For instance, said Global News, the Woodbridge postal area has 20 sex offenders living among 55,000 residents.

[ Related: Harper’s proposed public child-sex registry part of Ottawa’s larger crackdown on predators ]

Ministry spokesman Greg Flood said in an emailed statement to Global News the government respects the Supreme Court decision "and is focused on keeping our communities safe as we work to comply with the information and privacy commissioner’s order."

“As long as it doesn’t identify individuals, it’s good,” Catherine Latimer, executive director of the John Howard Society, which speaks for offenders, told Global News.

“Information, generally, is good. I don’t think you gain anything by not having adequate access to information. “

The ministry said 97 per cent of sex offenders register their home addresses with police as required.

The data map created by Global News, based on information as of April,showed Hamilton has the densest concentration of sex offenders in the province.

"Most of inner-city Hamilton has high rates of sex offenders, with about 200 living below the Mountain," Global News said. "The western part of central Hamilton, along York Boulevard, has southern Ontario’s densest concentration of sex offenders."

In Ottawa, offenders are concentrated in the suburb of Vanier. Northwestern Ontario has high rates of registered offenders, with 122 in a population of just over 16,300 in a stretch from Kenora to Hudson Bay.

Not surprisingly, sex offenders tend to live in low-income neighbourhoods.

“Most people who are reintegrating back into communities after a period in prison are not particularly wealthy,” Latimer told Global News.

“They have difficulty functioning and getting jobs, so they’re lower-income people. A lot of them are getting dumped into homeless shelters when they’re released – it’s not good.”

One argument the government made for withholding information was that releasing even postal-code data would lead to "community unease." But Latimer noted most offenders victimize people in their immediate circles, not strangers.

“What makes people anxious is stranger sexual assault," she said.

"People feeling vulnerable walking down the street, or vulnerable because they’re worried about their kids not coming directly home from school, that kind of thing. But most sexual offences occur among people who know each other.”

That begs the question of why the general public needs to know that sex offenders live among them (presumably so do burglars, car thieves and killers)? But Global noted a 2001 study found about a quarter of all sexual offences involve attacks on strangers, falling to 16 per cent when the victims are kids.

The same study also found less than 10 per cent of released Ontario sex offenders were convicted of a new sexual offence in the three and a half years following their release.

"What Global’s map reveals, more than anything else, is that existing side-by-side with criminals and ex-criminals is just an inescapable fact of city life," Toronto Life commented. "Most of us will be fine."


Globally-known ‘Swirl Face’ pedophile could face toughest penalties yet for crimes

Thai prison guards escort Canadian Christopher Paul Neil, center, at criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, Aug. 15, 2008. Neil, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy was sentenced Friday to three years and three months in jail in Thailand. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Sakchai Lalit

Thai prison guards escort Canadian Christopher Paul Neil, center, at criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, Aug. 15, 2008. Neil, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy was sentenced Friday to three years and three months in jail in Thailand. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Sakchai Lalit

Canadian authorities are making their first real attempt at prosecuting a globally-known convicted pedophile under rarely used child-sex tourism laws.

Christopher Neil was the subject of Interpol’s largest international manhunt at the time of his arrest in 2007 and ultimately imprisoned for five years in Thailand.

Until now he hasn’t face charges in Canada for several allegations in connection of crimes overseas.

The British Columbia man briefly made a first appearance in provincial court Monday to face five charges stemming from accusations of sex offences involving children in Cambodia in 2003. He’s also accused of child pornography-related crimes in B.C., resulting in five additional charges.

The charges based on investigations abroad are significant, Neil’s lawyer said outside court.

“From a legal standpoint, Crown was telling me today there’s only been three or four other charges of this kind in all of Canada,” said Mark Thompson.

“I suspect he’ll plead not guilty.”

Wearing a black, short-sleeve shirt and jeans, Neil strode into the prisoner’s enclosure in Port Coquitlam provincial court before lawyers requested a bail hearing be set for April 10.

The less than two minute appearance was sedate compared to the flurry that ensued when police paraded him past media in Thailand in 2007.

Neil’s image became ubiquitous on major TV news networks owing to a flashy graphic released by computer experts unravelling a distorted picture of his face, leading to him being dubbed “Swirl Face.”

Gravity of the more than decade old accusations is apparent in how that file is currently viewed. At a mass gathering of law enforcement experts in London in early October, Interpol cited its search for Neil as an example of a classic international investigation.

In September 2012, he was returned to Canada after being released early from a nine year sentence for sexually assaulting two boys.

The subject matter of the new charges was not covered in the case prosecuted in Thailand, said Neil MacKenzie, spokesman for B.C.’s Criminal Justice Branch.

It’s possible Neil could be punished much more harshly if convicted here in his home country.

Each of the five Cambodia-linked charges — two each of sexual touching and invitation to sexual touching, as well as production of child pornography — carry a 10 year maximum sentence.

After being shunted back to Canada, Neil was placed on strict conditions meant to protect children based on his Thailand convictions.

He is also set to appear in court May 1 on separate charges based on disobeying those restrictions after police say they found devices capable of connecting to the Internet in his possession. He is accused of accessing child pornography.

A psychiatric assessment was ordered and its evaluation is expected to be revealed during that court date.

Neil was arrested Friday following investigations by Vancouver police and the RCMP’s child exploitation unit. He remains in custody.

John Furlong says police have cleared him of abuse allegations made by student

John Furlong speaks during a press conference in Vancouver on December 17, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck.

John Furlong speaks during a press conference in Vancouver on December 17, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck.

The man who organized the Vancouver Olympics says he’s been cleared by police of sexual-abuse allegations brought by a former student, though the RCMP says the file remains open.

The allegations against John Furlong surfaced following a newspaper article published last fall, suggesting he physically and verbally abused First Nations students at Burns Lake, B.C., while teaching at a Catholic school there in the late 1960s.

This past July, Beverly Abraham and Grace West filed separate lawsuits against Furlong alleging sexual abuse, and a third lawsuit was filed last month by a man who said he, too, was sexually abused.

Furlong said in an interview with Global News that police gave him a letter in April saying they found nothing to substantiate allegations by one of the complainants, identified as Abraham in a letter to Furlong that was posted online. According to the letter, the police would not be sending a report to Crown counsel.

“If you want to imagine yourself in this position put yourself as far into hell as you can go but just keep on going,” said Furlong.

In fact, he said he has been living a “nightmare,” and the worst experience of his life was sitting in a room with an RCMP officer, being investigated and asked questions.

“To actually sit there and have an officer look me in the eye and ask me the kind of things that we’re talking about now, I mean it was sickening.”

Global News reported Furlong will now drop his lawsuit against the newspaper. Furlong also said he will fight the civil lawsuits and escalate his own action against journalist Laura Robinson because “the process has been disrespected.”

Meantime, Abraham has told Global News that she’s devastated.

“My heart is just beating so fast, not with anger or anything,” she said. “I’m just so heartbroken right now.”

RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen said in an email the force asked major crime investigators from another province earlier this year to review their investigation because of the “serious and sensitive nature” of the allegations.

He said the review resulted in a number of investigative recommendations that police continue to follow up on.

“Our file remains open at this time,” said Vermeulen, who declined to comment further because civil actions are underway.

Lawyer Jason Gratl, who represents all the plaintiffs, said the RCMP contacted Abraham two weeks ago and informed her they were wrapping up their investigation.

“My client complained to them, saying they hadn’t interviewed all the witnesses,” said Gratl. “They said they’d call her back the next day to discuss that issue. Then they didn’t call her back.”

In her statement of claim, Abraham alleges Furlong would ask her to stay late after class before molesting her in the gym, the equipment room and a mechanical closet.

Abraham, who was 11 at the time, said in the statement that Furlong also emotionally and psychologically manipulated her, calling her his “beautiful Indian girl” and saying it was not wrong for him to touch her.

Grace West, 53, filed a separate statement of claim, alleging that almost every week Furlong would touch her breasts and vagina while stroking himself. West’s claim also states Furlong would kick her almost every day, calling her “dirty Indian” and “squaw.”

Abraham does not state that Furlong physically abused her. Rather she claims he would request that the school’s nuns force her to kneel and the nuns would strike her open palms repeatedly.

Furlong has already said in court documents that he doesn’t recall if he taught West and Abraham during his time as a volunteer teacher at the school.

“The defendant denied that he sexually molested or physically abused or engaged in any inappropriate conduct in respect of the plaintiff,” said two identical statements of defence filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

Meantime, the man said he was a nine-year-old student when Furlong arrived as a volunteer teacher in 1969.

The man said Furlong isolated him in a small room after class, and on two occasions forced him to masturbate him. On a third occasion, the statement of claim said there was forced anal intercourse by Furlong.

“During and after he sexually abused the plaintiff, the defendant John Furlong called the plaintiff a ‘dirty little Indian,”’ the document said.

“The defendant John Furlong told the plaintiff that if he ever told anyone about the abuse no one would believe him.”

The man said he has suffered emotionally and psychologically from the abuse, and “was generally disempowered as a result of racism and geographic isolation.”

None of the claims from the three lawsuits have been proven in court.

“I have no grudge against any of those young kids, but none of this is true. None of it,” said Furlong.


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Crown recommends 21 years for Donnie Snook on 46 child exploitation related charges

Sentencing hearing for 41 year former Saint John councillor wrapping up today

News staff Alison Clements,Andrew Cromwell Aug 30, 2013 09:50:52 AM

SAINT JOHN, N.B.- Day two of a sentencing hearing for former Saint John councillor Donnie Snook has heard from the Crown with regard to sentencing.

Crown Prosecutor Karen Lee Lamrock has recommended a sentence of 21 years in prison for the 41 year old who pleaded guilty earlier this year to 46 child exploitation related charges. They include sexual assault and possessing, distributing and making child pornography.

12 of those years are in connection with hands-on on offences committed by Snook.

The court also heard this morning if Snook were to be sentenced for each offence separately, it would equal 75 years in prison.

Snook was arrested by the R-C-M-P after an investigation that began in 2011 involving the Saint John and Toronto police.

30 students allegedly abused by Scarborough teacher

Inglewood Heights Junior Public School/TDSB

Inglewood Heights Junior Public School/TDSB

Thirty students were allegedly victimized since September at Scarborough’s Inglewood Junior Public School by a French teacher accused of sexual assault and other offences, police and Toronto District School Board (TDSB) officials said Thursday.

The accused, Christian Kpodjie, 53, taught at five Toronto elementary schools since 2007, TDSB lawyer Grant Bowers said during a news conference at TDSB headquarters.

Social workers have been brought in to help students and staff at Inglewood.

“We have a crisis response team at the school,” said David Johnson, senior manager of TDSB’s professional support services.

“Anytime there’s a situation involving students, where there’s safety issues, we’re all concerned. We feel the pain of all of that, of the community as well as the students and staff.”

Kpodjie faces 42 charges, including sexual assault, sexual exploitation and assault for alleged incidents at Inglewood P.S., near Birchmount Road and Sheppard Avenue, where he taught core French to children in grades four to six.

A letter from the school’s principal went home to Inglewood families on Wednesday. A community meeting about the allegations will be held next Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium.

Kpodjie surrendered to police on Wednesday and is currently suspended with pay. The investigation started with a complaint to the school, Bowers said.

The accused was trained as a teacher in Ghana and was qualified to teach in Ontario, Bower said. All teachers at the TDSB must undergo criminal background checks, he added.

Kpodjie has been employed at the TDSB since 2007 and previously taught at Humberwood Downs Junior Middle Academy in Etobicoke in 2008, Derrydown Public School in North York in 2009, Chester Le Junior Public School in Scarborough in 2010 and Gateway Public School in East York in 2012.

“A letter is going out today to the school communities of those other four schools advising them of the arrest, the fact that he was there in that particular year and that they’re welcome to attend the school community meeting on Tuesday night at Inglewood,” Bowers said.

All of the alleged victims are from Inglewood, Bowers said, and these are the first allegations against the teacher.



Canadians are major customers in Cuba’s child sex market

Canada is lax when it comes to stopping its sex offenders from going to Cuba and preying on underage prostitutes.
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Most tourists are drawn to Cuba by the sand, the sunshine, and the culture. But a few tourists - including some Canadians - are drawn by something far darker.

HAVANA—Set against a backdrop of gutted buildings and faded hope, Michael is all smiles.

He’s fiftysomething, sports a greying moustache last in fashion in the ’70s, and stares out from beneath a ball cap emblazoned with a red maple leaf.

Sauntering into a downtown Havana bar, his left arm wound tightly around the waist of an attractive young Cuban woman, he’s in his element. She, meanwhile, is working.

The Vancouver Island native flashes a grin at two European mates who, like him, have come to regard Havana as a second home. The bartender welcomes him like an old friend. Everyone here, as the song goes, knows his name.

“There’s a lot worse places to be,” Michael says, in a toast to shared good fortune. “This is the promised land.”

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  • Havana resident Mara says she pulled on a miniskirt and began working as a prositute because money was short. Canadians are major players in the country's sex trade, which involves many underage girls.zoom

Michael is on the inside of a well-kept secret.

Canadians are travelling to Cuba in surprising numbers to sexually exploit young people trapped in this socialist country’s underground sex tourism industry, a joint investigation by the Toronto Star and El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language sister publication of the Miami Herald, has found.

Havana’s conspicuous scenes of street-level prostitution are the public face of a hidden, sordid trade in children as young as four. Many prostituted children in Cuba are second- or third-generation, following in the footsteps of sex-worker mothers to earn money for families complicit in their exploitation.

“. . . it’s the illusion that you can get ahead if you prostitute yourself . . . the illusion of leaving the country, the illusion of a visa.”

Ivan Garcia


Cuban authorities deny the problem. And Canada’s lax oversight suggests any self-proclaimed moral obligation to protect children from abuse stops at our own borders.

Convicted Canadian sex offenders face little scrutiny leaving the country, little prospect of having foreign authorities warned of their arrival and little chance of being flagged by border authorities upon arrival back in Canada.

Canadian border authorities have no access to the country’s sex offender registry and limited access to Canada’s criminal record database.

In an exclusive interview with the Star, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews acknowledged shortcomings, saying the travel of convicted sex offenders is “one of the very significant issues that does need to be addressed” through better monitoring.

“Are there additional steps I would like to see taken?” he said. “Absolutely. Am I encouraging the government to move in that direction? Absolutely.”

Canadian men, generally between 40 and 60 years of age, are among the most numerous sexual predators in Cuba, according to internal government reports, international experts, diplomatic cables and on-the-ground interviews.

The RCMP, in a confidential 2011 report on child sex tourism obtained by the Star through access-to-information requests, lists Cuba as a top destination in the Americas for Canadian sex tourists.

“The issue of Canadian travelling child sex offenders is likely greater than previously thought,” the report concludes.

And one of the key drivers behind any flourishing child prostitution market is “an established and active sex trade.”

Cuba easily meets that definition.

For sex tourists, the island holds unique allure. It’s closer and cheaper than destinations such Thailand and Cambodia. HIV rates are dramatically lower than in most countries. And a trip to Cuba for single male tourists is free from the social stigma associated with Phuket or Phnom Penh.

Furtive negotiations with pimps, cabbies and staff at high-end Cuban hotels can easily procure meetings with young boys or girls, according to undercover conversations with Cuban insiders and hotel security staff last month.

“That’s prohibited here in the hotel,” a security head at one of Havana’s large hotels told a reporter posing as sex tourist.

That’s because young Cuban girls appearing at the city’s high-end hotels in the company of men are instantly flagged by security staff, who often demand payment to allow their entry.

But he carefully described the process for accessing underage girls.

“The young girls aren’t on the street. They’re in houses waiting for the call from pimps.”

The secure — and surreptitious — environment for meeting them is a private lodging called a casa particular, where tourists can rent rooms for about $10 a night.

“They don’t care what you’re doing there,” said one hotel security guard. “Whatever you want. Orgies, anything.”

That advice mirrors the findings of the 2011 RCMP report, which says child sex “facilitators,” including “taxi drivers and/or hotel staff, can sometimes be used to arrange discreet meetings with potential child victims.”

A Cuban casa particular provides a safe zone where child sex offenders “access children and locals who are willing to facilitate crimes against children in return for financial compensation,” says the report, titled Canadian Travelling Child Sex Offenders.

“Poor or dysfunctional families may be particularly willing to open their doors to foreigners with the hope of reaping some financial benefits or so they can receive food or material items. Offenders can, and often do, capitalize on this vulnerability to gain sexual access to child victims.”

U.S. diplomats documented the same money-for-child-sex system operating with the knowledge and permission of families in a 2009 cable to Washington.

“Some Cuban children are reportedly pushed into prostitution by their families, exchanging sex for money, food or gifts,” it reads.

The cost of forbidden youth is startlingly cheap: as little as $30 for the night.

Manuel, a lean, 30-something lawyer from Mexico City, is flanked by two scantily clad young prostitutes outside a Varadero hotel as he proudly whispers to an undercover reporter in English: “I got them both for $40. We’re going back to (a casa particular) in Havana. Do you want to stay with us in our house with girls? Come with me. There’s so many!”


Exploitation thrives where poverty exists, and in that respect, Cuba is no different from Cambodia or Thailand.

Ivan Garcia, a dissident blogger and journalist in Havana, says the young girls and boys in the trade are typically poor, hopeless and desperate: “For these people, ‘future’ is a bad word.”

Parents who usher their children into the sex trade are motivated by something much bigger than money, he says. The real goal, he says, is the hope of securing marriage to a wealthy foreigner.

He knows two 12-year-old girls currently working the streets.

“They see that this girl married some Italian and now she’s dressing nice, fixing up her mother’s house — it’s the illusion that you can get ahead if you prostitute yourself . . . the illusion of leaving the country, the illusion of a visa.”

That illusion most often ends in exploitation and tragedy.

In 2011, three Italian men were sentenced to between 20 and 25 years in prison for murder and corruption of minors after the body of a 12-year-old girl was dumped in Bayamo, a city in eastern Cuba.

The girl — Lilian Ramirez — was a 12-year-old prostitute the men hired for a party along with two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old, says Laritza Diversent, a dissident Cuban lawyer who worked on the case.

The government handles such cases “with a lot of care and closed trials,” says Diversent.

Diversent considers child prostitution in Cuba “a serious matter because of what I see every day on the street — very young girls and boys with much older foreigners.”

In her own Havana neighbourhood growing up, she recalls, she had a nine-year-old friend who “was groped lasciviously” by adult men for cash.

“There’s a moment when they dedicate themselves to prostitution and there’s somebody who uses them, usually someone from their own neighbourhood.”

Prostitutes under 16 can be charged with “pre-criminal dangerousness” and be sent to youth interment camps But foreigners caught with prostitutes older than 16 rarely face arrest, she says. And it’s alleged that police accept bribes from prostitutes and pimps to look the other way.

The Canadian government keeps secret how many Canadians have been prosecuted in Cuba for sex crimes.

Concern for the privacy of the Canadians charged or convicted in the Cuban sex trade is the government’s stated rationale. So few have been prosecuted for the crime that releasing even aggregate figures could identify them, the government says.

But there’s no question that some Canadians have been prosecuted for exploiting young Cubans.

“A number of tourists, including Canadians, have been convicted of offences related to the corruption of minors,” the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade notes on its website about Cuba.

And a study on Cuban sex tourism by the global monitoring group End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) found “much of the literature points to Canadians as being high on the list of offenders.”

In 2003, ECPAT reported that a 53-year-old Canadian man had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl. Another Canadian man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old.

James Cason, the top American diplomat in Havana between 2002 and 2005, says Canadians are among the most enthusiastic customers of the Cuban child sex trade.

“The ones pouring in were Canadians and Europeans, and that’s where I saw the problem (of child prostitution),” Cason said in an interview.

While Cuban government action against sex tourists appears to be rare, U.S. cables, released by the activist group WikiLeaks, suggest vigorous punitive actions are taken against victims of the country’s underage sex trade.

“Police occasionally rounded up women and children in Cuba’s sex trade and charged them with vague crimes,” reads one 2009 cable. “Adolescents found in prostitution were sent to either juvenile detention facilities or work camps emphasizing politicized rehabilitation.”

The “Recommendations for Cuba” detailed in the same memo reads: “Acknowledge that child sex trafficking in Cuba is a problem; provide greater legal protections and assistance for victims; develop procedures to identify possible trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; increase anti-trafficking training for law enforcement; and, take greater steps to prevent the trafficking of children in prostitution.”

That advice has most certainly fallen on deaf ears inside the Cuban government. A request by the Star for an interview with the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa was ignored.

Led today by Fidel Castro’s younger brother Raul, Cuba continues to officially deny that sexual predators are among the sun seekers and families pouring into the country.

The numbers of arrests and prosecutions for child exploitation are tightly protected, and Cuba restricts the presence of international and domestic NGOs.

Official denial reaches beyond mere marketing. It is an expression of deeply felt revolutionary pride.

Fidel Castro cracked down on prostitution after the 1959 revolution and boasted his country would no longer be the American brothel.

“There are no women forced to sell themselves to a man, to a foreigner, to a tourist,” he said in 1992. “Those who do so do it on their own, voluntarily, and without any need for it. We can say that they are highly educated hookers and quite healthy, because we are the country with the lowest numbers of AIDS cases . . . Therefore, there is truly no prostitution healthier than Cuba’s.”

The sex marketplace in Cuba’s cities and resorts began to emerge after the Soviet Union’s collapse meant billions of dollars in annual subsidies from Moscow dried up.

Today, the influx of foreign money may well make prostitution among the most profitable jobs in a country where the average monthly salary officially stands at less than $20.

Cuba’s well-educated sex workers include a young woman who calls herself Chachi. Cherubic and young, her face is devoid of anything that suggests the broken life that brings her to Havana’s main prostitution strip — the seaside Malecon boulevard — at midnight.

She was born and raised in a neighbouring province and attended university for two years, studying to become a veterinarian. Then she became pregnant.

Now, with a three-year-old boy to look after, Chachi rents a Havana apartment for a month at a time, spending her days and evenings with male tourists like Michael.

“I can cook, I can do dishes, I can clean the house,” she says through an interpreter. “I can do whatever you want.”

Over a beer, she opens up about her humiliation having to walk the streets and the reasons she does it.

“He is beautiful,” she says of her little boy, who remains living with her mother in her hometown. “I am here for him. I wait for money from tourists so I can send it to him and my mother.”

The U.S. State Department consistently classifies Cuba as a “Tier 3” country — the worst in its rankings — when it comes to combating sex trafficking.

“Cuba is a source country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour,” the State Department warns in the 2012 edition of its annual review of global human trafficking. “The country’s laws do not appear to penalize prostitution of children between the ages of 16 and 18.”

The report concludes that the Cuban government has made “no known efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex.”

Teresa C. Ulloa Ziaurriz, Mexico-based director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women in Latin America, says the problem of exploitative predators from Canada and Europe is likely to grow as Cuba opens its doors to ever more tourism.

“All the Caribbean islands are really a paradise for child sex tourism,” she says. “We call sex tourism inverse trafficking — instead of taking the victims out of the country . . . the demand travels to where the supply is.

“Why are they coming to Latin America and the Caribbean to buy sex from those who are in more vulnerable situation? This is the merchandisation of the bodies of women and girls.”

Back in Havana, Michael certainly appears to be having a marvellous trip. Ask him about the city’s surprisingly open prostitution industry and he’ll launch into an X-rated Frommer’s guide to the most promising marketplaces for women in the city.

“If you go to places like the (club) Cecilia, then you’re going to see top-of-the-line girls, but they’re going to be charging top-of-the-line prices,” he notes. “I prefer places like the Hotel Deauville where they’re accessible . . . Whores galore.”

The retired British Columbian spends up to six months a year in Havana, a place he’s been visiting for two decades.

“It’s hard not to be inspired by this,” he says as he directs his eyes to the young prostitute accompanying him this night.

“And that,” he adds, his eyes visually pointing to one of several other young prostitutes in the bar with whom he shares warm banter and familiarity.

With more time on his hands, his travels have been expanding of late to a more well-known sex tourism destination — Cambodia.

“The Cambodian people just impress the f--- out of me,” he says. “They’re extremely nice. And you can get a really f------ sexy woman. The sex is great. The beach is fantastic. The food, because it’s got the French influence in it.”

His travelogue complete, Michael smiles once more and extends his hand: “We’re all Canadians.”


The Ugly Canadians is a series produced jointly by the Toronto Star and El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language sister publication of The Miami Herald.



Blogger and journalist, Havana


Mountie remanded in custody in Ottawa child abuse case

    An RCMP badge is seen during a police memorial parade in Ottawa on Sept. 26, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Francis Vachon

    An RCMP badge is seen during a police memorial parade in Ottawa on Sept. 26, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Francis Vachon

    An RCMP officer charged with multiple assault and sex-related counts following a child abuse investigation in Ottawa made a brief court appearance on Friday and was remanded in custody.

    The court imposed a sweeping publication ban on the matter and the accused was ordered to have no contact with a list of people, whose names were not disclosed.

    His wife, who is also charged, was expected in court later Friday.

    In order to protect the identity of the alleged victims, the names of the couple are not being released.

    Police say the 41-year-old officer and 34-year-old wife are charged with several counts of aggravated assault, assault with weapon, aggravated sexual assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

    They won’t say how many children are involved, but say the case involves more than one alleged victim.

    Sex charges against Brampton teacher dropped

    Published on Wednesday December 05, 2012


    Alan Muliyil, a teacher at Fletcher's Creek Senior Public School in Brampton, says he was wrongly accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl in what his lawyer calls a bizarre case of mistaken identity.
    Alex Consiglio
    Staff Reporter

    Alan Muliyil wants his life back.

    The teacher at Fletcher’s Creek Senior Public School in Brampton says he was wrongly accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl in what his lawyer calls a bizarre case of mistaken identity.

    Muliyil was suspended with pay from Fletcher, and also lost his volunteer position coaching with the Oakville Thunder Volleyball Club — the two most important activities in his life.

    “It makes you feel like somebody took a part of you,” said Muliyil, 47. “I couldn’t do the things that make me who I am.”

    During a prostitution investigation in May, York Regional Police charged him with obtaining sexual services, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

    The Crown withdrew the charges on Nov. 15 because it had “no reasonable prospect of conviction,” said spokesman Brendan Crawley.

    But the damage was already done.

    Multiple news outlets had splashed Muliyil’s mug shot and stories of his arrest across the Internet, leading to trolls picking it up and posting it to websites that out sexual predators.

    “Suddenly, in a few hours time, your reputation is damaged so badly,” said Muliyil. “It used to be one-day news and then thrown in the garbage.”

    His lawyer, Todd White, said police were given a phone number they believed to be a cellphone used to communicate with the girl, including text messages, but it was Muliyil’s landline.

    White said he learned this once he was provided full disclosure from the Crown, when he also discovered the description of the alleged criminal was far from matching Muliyil’s appearance.

    The wanted man was described as white, with a beard and grey hair. Muliyil is East Indian, with no beard and jet-black hair, said White.

    “It was clear whoever the complainant was talking about couldn’t have been Alan,” said White. “They searched his computer, they searched his home and they found nothing untoward.”

    Neither Crawley nor York Region police would detail the reasons for withdrawing the charges.

    “I couldn’t believe it, it was a nightmare, it was an absolute nightmare,” said Muliyil, who maintained his innocence as his life unravelled. “I thought it’d be over and done with in a day.”

    Instead, Muliyil was ostracized as he lost contact with those most important to him. Colleagues at Fletcher were immediately instructed not to communicate with him and he could no longer be around the volleyball club.

    He said his good standing in the community — he’s lived in Brampton for 35 years, volunteered to coach teams for 20 and was at Fletcher for 14 — was stolen.

    “People should not condemn someone just because they are charged with something,” said Muliyil, who doesn’t have kids of his own. “People should be presumed innocent and unfortunately that’s something people have forgotten.”

    Leslie Shade, a media professor at the University of Toronto, said “cyber vigilantism,” like the websites where Muliyil’s mug shot appeared, is impossible to control.

    “It is unfortunately very easy to spread misinformation,” said Shade. “It’s very easy to spread information that’s not contextualized, and false.”

    In many instances, it’s not possible to redress the misinformation, Shade added. “People have to use the same tools to correct it that spread it in the first place.”

    Muliyil said he’s not too worried about the unreliable vigilante websites — it’s what people around him think that matters most.

    “You know who you are, but you don’t know what other people think,” he said. “It’s painful to even think about it.”

    Muliyil has had the support of his girlfriend and mother throughout the ordeal, and said he’s confident he’ll be warmly welcomed back into the community.

    Peter Walker, founder of the Oakville volleyball club where Muliyil coached the under-17 girls’ team for the past three years, said he’s glad Muliyil’s name has been cleared.

    “I was shocked as hell when I heard he was charged,” said Walker, noting he never had any problems with Muliyil. “It was a horrendous misunderstanding and he got caught in the middle of it.”

    Walker said he hasn’t yet given any thought to whether Muliyil can rejoin the organization.

    Muliyil said he’s most concerned about Fletcher, his second home where he desperately wants to return.

    Muliyil, who’s never faced any discipline from the Ontario College of Teachers, mostly taught grades 5 and 6 at Fletcher, but was involved in almost every extracurricular sport.

    Carla Pereira, spokeswoman for the Peel District School Board, said the board is conducting its own investigation, routine when a court matter concludes.

    “There’s no time frame,” said Pereira. “We’re working to get it done as quickly as possible. If everything’s fine, he’ll be returned to the classroom.”

    But Pereira couldn’t say if he’d be returned to Fletcher.

    “All I’m looking forward to doing is getting back to work,” said Muliyil. “I love teaching and I love coaching, it makes me who I am.”


    Appeal Court reserves decision on more time for convicted coach Graham James

    12/03/2012 | The Canadian Press

    Graham James is seen in a Stony Mountain Institution mugshot in Stony Mountain, Man., on March 22, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Winnipeg Free Press
    The Manitoba Court of Appeal reserved decision Monday on whether former hockey coach Graham James should serve more than two years in prison for abusing two of his former players.

    James is already eligible to ask for full parole and will be eligible for statutory release next summer, if his sentence remains unchanged.

    He pleaded guilty earlier this year to sexually abusing NHL star Theo Fleury and his younger cousin Todd Holt when they played for him. James was a respected coach in the Western Hockey League in the 1980s when the abuse took place.

    The Crown appealed the sentence and argued Monday that four years would have been more appropriate, considering the nature of the offences and sentencing guidelines.

    "He has to pay the price for what he did to his victims and the community," said Crown counsel Elizabeth Thomson, adding that the public needs to maintain confidence in the justice system.

    Thomson told the Appeal Court the trial judge erred in her approach and application of sentencing principles and put too much weight on the 3 1/2 years James received in 1997 for abusing other young players.

    James pleaded guilty in 1997 to abusing two other players, including NHLer Sheldon Kennedy. Although police asked him about Fleury at the time, James refused to talk about Fleury unless the player himself came forward.

    Fleury finally wrote about the abuse in a book a few years ago, leading to the new charges.

    James's lawyer Evan Roitenberg said the two-year sentence should stand, suggesting it is too harsh.

    He said the sentencing judge took into consideration his client's rehabilitation in the 15 years between James' first sentence in 1997 and when the new charges were laid.

    At trial, Roitenberg had argued for no jail time and said he still thinks that would be fair given the circumstances of the case.

    Roitenberg said James had an "epiphany" while in counselling after he was first jailed and realized what he had done to his victims. Until then, he thought they were in loving relationships.

    That was too much for Appeal Court Justice Al MacInnes, one of the three on the panel hearing the case.

    "For me, you are pushing a big rock up a steep hill if you want me to accept that," said the judge, who noted James threatened players to keep them from exposing him.

    MacInnes made it clear that if it had been up to him, the sentence would have been stiffer. But the Appeal Court judges are only looking at whether Judge Catherine Carlson strayed too far outside the acceptable guidelines in her sentencing.

    James served about 18 months of his original sentence from 1997 before being released. He was granted a pardon and left the country.

    He coached briefly in Europe and then worked in Mexico for a Canadian company.

    He was working there when the new charges were laid and he agreed to return and eventually pleaded guilty. The Crown agreed not to proceed with other charges involving another player, Greg Gilhooly.

    Gilhooly was in court Monday and said later that it's important to get beyond the arguments of lawyers.

    "There are victims of child sexual assault out there and the cost to society with the victims is intense," he said after the hearing.

    "We focus on rehabilitating our criminals. We don't focus enough on rehabilitating our victims."

    Hopley pleads guilty in abduction of B.C. boy



    Accused child abductor Randall Hopley is led out of the Cranbrook, B.C. courthouse on Wednesday Sept. 14, 2011. Hopley was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation during his first court appearance Wednesday, a day after his dramatic arrest in the disappearance of three-year-old Kienan Hebert. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Graveland

    CRANBROOK, B.C. — The father of a three-year-old boy who was abducted from his home in southeast B.C. last fall says the family got some closure Monday when a man accused in the abduction pleaded guilty to the charges.

    Yet, Paul Hebert said he takes no pleasure in seeing Randall Hopley, 46, being punished for the abduction of his son, Kienan.

    "We don't want to celebrate Hopley's punishment," said Hebert. "It's not for us to do so."

    In what was to be a hearing to fix a court date, Hopley admitted to abduction of a person under 14 and break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence. Appearing in court via video link, Hopley pleaded not guilty to a charge of kidnapping, and the Crown is expected to stay that charge.

    Hebert said the guilty plea brought closure to his family, thanks in part to their faith.

    "In our faith we simply learn that we simply have to forgive one another. We're all sinners."

    Hopley was accused of taking three-year-old Kienan from his home in Sparwood last September, setting off a Canada-wide manhunt.

    The Amber Alert brought in tips from the public right across the country.

    Four days later, the boy was returned to the same home he was take from, apparently unharmed, both physically and emotionally.

    Hopley was arrested a few days later after police tracked him to an abandoned cabin on Crowsnest Lake, just across the border from the B.C. town where the boy lived.

    A dog handler was alerted to the possible presence of someone inside one of the cabins, said RCMP Insp. Brendan Fitzpatrick.

    Hopley bolted. But he was quickly captured, marking the end to an intense week-long drama.

    A sentencing hearing for Hopley will be held in July in Cranbrook. His lawyer has asked for a pre-sentence report before the hearing.

    Documents released after his arrest showed that Hopley was convicted in 1985 of sexually assaulting a five-year-old boy and a psychiatric report leading up to his prison release warned he could offend again. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

    The report prepared by Dr. J.A. Noone, said Hopley, then 21 years old, refused sex offender treatment and wasn't a suitable candidate for other treatment programs.

    "I see him as a high risk to reoffend unless he is in a supervised setting. I do not see that there are viable treatment possibilities for him, if released."

    Noone said Hopley, who had an IQ well below average, was one of those people who seemed to have fallen between the cracks of various support agencies.

    The report was written just one month before his mandatory release date of Jan. 6, 1987. But justice officials wanted to keep Hopley in prison until the end of his term, citing his high risk to children.

    "He should have got help a long time ago," said the boy's father, adding he hopes Hopley gets the help he needs so he can become a better citizen.

    Hebert said his son is doing well and there's no sign of trauma. He said Kienan remembers what happened but is not afraid because "Hopley didn't do anything to him."

    "He's phenomenal. He's acting just like he's always acted. He's out there playing."

    Hebert said the family does not discuss the abduction and are now moving on with their lives.



    Man charged in Ontario porn bust worked at Mississauga school

    02/02/2012  | CityNews.ca staff

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    One of dozens of people charged Thursday with child porn offences in Ontario included a support worker at a Mississauga private school.

    Bret Sheppard, 51, of Mississauga, was charged with possessing and accessing child porn, and appeared in a Brampton court Wednesday. He was among 60 people charged in raids across the province, including 13 in the GTA.

    Peel Regional police contacted Lynn-Rose Heights Private School on Wednesday to inform the elementary school about Sheppard.

    Sheppard was employed as a support worker with the school’s before-school program and also employed directly by parents as a support worker to children in the classroom, the school said in a release.

    “He is no longer employed in these capacities, and no longer has access to school property,” the head of the school Marie Attard said in the release.

    Police told the school, which offers classes from junior kindergarten to Grade 8, there was no evidence that Sheppard’s criminal offences are connected to former or current students.

    Parents and staff have been notified, she said.

    She also said the school has no record of any complaints against Sheppard.  

    Child porn found by police can be used at trial: court



    cp24 stock justice

    TORONTO — Child pornography that police accidentally found on a man's computer while investigating him on fraud charges can be used in court, Ontario's highest court has ruled.

    But, the court warned, it does not mean police have the right to poke into every corner of someone's computer under the guise of a specific search.

    The police were investigating Ronald Jones in an Internet fraud and stumbled upon 57 images of child pornography. They asked a Crown attorney for advice, the lawyer said they could proceed with a further search, and the police also found 31 child pornography videos.

    A lower court judge ruled that Jones' charter rights were violated because the warrant authorized a search for evidence of fraud, not of child pornography. That court dismissed his charge of possession of child pornography, but in a ruling released Tuesday, the Court of Appeal for Ontario ordered a new trial.

    The police were entitled to seize the initial images they stumbled upon, under the so-called plain view doctrine, the three-judge Appeal Court panel ruled.

    But, they said, it was a charter breach to go looking for more evidence of child pornography without getting a second warrant.

    The Crown had argued that the initial warrant authorized the extended search because a computer is like pieces of physical evidence, which can be tested and inspected in whatever ways the police deem necessary once lawfully seized.

    But the court rejected that, saying when a computer is seized for a specific reason, it does not give police carte blanche to pore through it to root out evidence of unconnected crimes.

    "I do not accept that the right to examine the entire contents of a computer for evidence of one crime ... carries with it the untrammelled right to rummage through the entire computer contents in search of evidence of another crime ... without restraint," wrote Justice Robert Blair on behalf of the panel.

    The police acted in good faith and balancing all the factors, it was wrong to exclude the pornographic evidence, the court said.

    "The administration of justice would be brought into disrepute more, in the long-term, if the video file evidence is excluded rather than included," the court wrote.

    "Crimes involving child pornography are among the most abhorrent in society. Society's interest in having these charges tried on their merits, with the important, reliable and real evidence that is available being tendered, is very high."


    Serial killer Clifford Olson reportedly dying of cancer

    Published On Wed Sep 21
    er Staff Reporter

    VANCOUVER — Clifford Olson, Canada's worst serial killer, is dying of cancer in a Quebec prison, family members of his victims have been told.

    Olson is serving 11 consecutive life sentences after being convicted in 1982 of killing eight girls and three boys in British Columbia. One of his victims was Terri Lyn Carson.

    Carson's mother Terry Bizeau said she's glad her daughter's killer is dying.

    "Right now I'm happy that he's on the brink of death. I hope he's suffering and I'll be damn happy when he's dead," said Bizeau in an interview with the Toronto Star on Wednesday.

    Carson was just 15 when she left home one day and was spotted by Olson, who offered her a ride in his car and a job. She was raped and strangled, her body left in a wooded area in the Fraser Valley.

    Bizeau said she was tired every time correctional officers phoned her to say Olson was going to the hospital.

    "The only time I wanted them to phone me was when he was dead. So a couple days ago, my friend [another victim’s mother] told me that an officer phoned her and told her that he was going to the hospital and if there was any change they would phone her and let her know."

    Sharon Rosenfeldt, a prominent advocate for the victims of crime and the mother of one of Olson’s 11 victims, told Vancovuer radio station CKNW that the notorious murderer has been moved to a hospital in Quebec with just days to live.

    Rosenfeldt says she’s been told by Corrections Canada that the 71-year-old Olson’s cancer has spread through his body.

    Rosenfeldt, whose son was murdered by Olson in 1981, said Olson made a prophetic comment during a parole hearing last December. At the end of the hearing, Olson said this would be the last; he would not ask for another.

    “This is the final time,” Olson said after hearing the verdict.

    “Never again.”

    Rosenfeldt told CKNW “maybe he knew back then.”

    “I mean, there must have been some signs back then,” she said.

    Olson, once dubbed “the Beast of B.C.” in media reports, had been serving a life sentence at a maximum-security prison. His victims, killed over an eight-month period between Nov. 17, 1980 and July 30, 1981, were boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17.

    He was handed 11 concurrent life terms in 1982 after pleading guilty to the murders, which occurred in and around the Vancouver area in 1981.

    The admission followed a cash-for-bodies deal that paid Olson $100,000 to lead police to the remains of his young victims. The case — especially the blood-money payoff — sparked a storm of controversy that engulfed senior B.C. justice authorities.

    Olson faced 10 first-degree murder counts as his trial began Jan. 14, 1982. But it had barely begun when he reversed his not guilty plea, admitted to 11 killings and was sentenced to life with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

    With files from The Canadian Press

    Canadians among dozens charged in child porn ring

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder listens at left as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. (AP / Jacquelyn Martin) U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is seen announcing 72 people have been charged in connection with an international child exploitation network in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011.
    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder listens at left as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. (AP / Jacquelyn Martin)

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder listens at left as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. (AP / Jacquelyn

    CTV News.ca Staff

    Date: Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011 2:51 PM ET

    U.S. officials announced Wednesday that 72 people, including an unspecified number of Canadians, have been charged in connection with an international child exploitation network that exploited children younger than 12.

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the charges stemmed from an international investigation dubbed Operation Delego, which commenced in December 2009.

    Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world joined forces to probe an online message board called Dreamboard, a private, members-only network "that was created and operated to promote pedophilia and encourage the sexual abuse of very young children, in an environment designed to avoid law enforcement detection," according to a statement released by the DOJ.

    Members traded graphic and often violent images and videos of adults molesting children aged 12 and under.

    "The members of this criminal network shared a demented dream to create the preeminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation but for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare," Holder said.

    According to the statement, 19 of the suspects were arrested outside the United States. They hail from Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, Kenya, the Netherlands, Qatar, the Philippines, Serbia, Sweden and Switzerland.

    According to officials, 20 of the 72 suspects facing charges are still only known by their online identities and remain at large.

    All 72 suspects are charged with conspiring to advertise and distribute child pornography, while 50 are also charged with engaging in a child pornography enterprise.

    Thirteen of the 52 arrested suspects have pleaded guilty, and four of them have already received prison sentences ranging from 20 to 30 years.

    Sex with girl, 13, sends former Peel cop to prison

    Published On Mon Jul 25 2011
    Bob Mitchell Staff Reporter

    Mike Chaddock was on top of the world in 1999 when he received a police humanitarian award from the Knights of Columbus.

    On Monday, the former Peel police officer hit rock bottom as a convicted sexual offender.

    Chaddock, 59, received a 5 ½ year prison sentence from Justice Bruce Durno in a Milton courtroom for having sex with a young elementary schoolgirl — an elicit relationship that lasted for nearly five months.

    Given 12 months’ time credit for pre-trial custody, Chaddock has another 4 ½ years to serve in a federal prison.

    It was a stunning fall from grace for a man who once organized Brampton’s Santa Claus parade and was a friend to many of the city’s political and business leaders.

    An active community volunteer, Chaddock is now by all accounts a broken man with few friends, three failed marriages and no job. He betrayed his family and colleagues and physically and emotionally harmed a troubled teenage girl, who was 13 and in Grade 8 when the sexual affair began, court heard.

    “As a society, everyone has the duty to protect, not abuse young persons,” Durno said. “She was a most vulnerable and troubled young person.”

    Chaddock was working as an executive assistant to Brampton-Springdale MPP Linda Jeffrey when he was arrested in April 2009. He had held the job since 2003.

    He was initially arrested after a complaint from the girl’s school. Halton Police laid sex charges against him in connection with his activities with a 13-year-old girl between November 2008 and March 2009 and was later released on bail. Despite being ordered to stay away from her, Chaddock resumed having sex with the girl in April 2010, when she had by then turned 14.

    The former president of the Peel Humane Society pleaded guilty last January to two counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual interference and one count of breach of undertaking.

    The girl was already suffering from psychological and alcohol and drug abuse and had been cutting herself, court heard.

    Durno said Chaddock was “incredibly naïve, offensive and callous” to suggest — as he did to a psychiatrist — that he didn’t think his unprotected sexual relations would make “matters any worse” for her.

    Although not forced to have sex, her age didn’t allow her to consent under Canadian law.

    In breaching the court order, Chaddock asked the girl to undress in front of a webcam during one of their first email communications since their relationship had been interrupted by his initial arrest — something Crown prosecutor Amy Stevenson said at last month’s sentencing hearing was akin to “soliciting child pornography” from her.

    Chaddock was rearrested in July 2010 and charged again with sexual assault. He’s been in jail for the past 10 months.

    At last month’s sentencing hearing, Chaddock said he felt “ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated and remorseful” and promised never to do “anything like this” ever again.

    “It goes against everything my parents taught me,” he told the court. He insisted he still has no idea why he became involved with the young girl.

    “I have no rational explanations for my actions,” Chaddock said.

    Chaddock was 57 when he met the young girl through Lavalife, an adult dating site that he often visited from his office computer while working as Jeffrey’s aide.

    She initially said she was 18 but then admitted she was 16. Chaddock stopped having sex with her about two weeks before his initial arrest when she finally admitted she was 13, but he did know she was 14 when they resumed having sex about a year later, court heard.

    Durno recommended Chaddock be given sex offender treatment while in custody. He’s also prohibited from life for being in a public place where children under 16 gather and he can’t be involved in any volunteer work involving children under 16.

    Newmarket man declared dangerous offender

    Published On Thu Jul 7 2011

    staff Reporter

    A Newmarket man convicted of attempted murder and a string of other violent offences has been declared a dangerous offender.

    Matthew Byers, 36, appeared before a judge Wednesday in connection to a 2007 conviction for plotting to kidnap, murder and rape a young girl.

    In April 2005, police spotted Byers in a forested area behind Glen Cedar Public School in Newmarket. Police found images of child pornography in his knapsack, as well as duct tape, gloves and electrical wire, leading officers to believe he was going to kidnap a child.

    After arresting Byers, officers discovered that earlier in the month, he had broken into the home where a little girl was living.

    Investigators later found a written account in his home detailing an elaborate plan to kidnap, rape and torture a child.

    No child was harmed, police said.

    In August 2007, Byers was convicted of offences including attempted murder, attempted kidnapping and possession of child pornography.

    The dangerous offender label means Byers will remain in jail until it is determined he no longer poses a risk to the community.

    Fleury Pushes MPs To Do More About Sexual Abuse

    2010/12/09 | Scott Edmonds, The Canadian Press

    Fleury on September 23, 2009 at Rexall Place in Edmonton. Image credit: Dale MacMillan, Getty Images.

    A judge's plan to grant disgraced former hockey coach Graham James bail has one of his alleged victims pushing politicians to do more to fight sex crimes.

    Former Calgary Flames player Theo Fleury says laws need to change and much more money needs to be spent to help people who have been sexually abused recover.

    "I'm looking for a change in the whole entire system ... pardons, bail, you name it. The system doesn't work," the one-time National Hockey League star said in an interview Wednesday.

    James faces nine charges stemming from alleged sexual encounters between 1979 and 1994 involving three boys, one of them Fleury, when he was coaching them in junior hockey.

    A judge said Tuesday he would grant bail to James once the Crown and defence have agreed on conditions for his release. That's expected to happen Monday. The Crown initially opposed bail. A publication ban prevents any reporting of exactly what was said at the hearing and the reasons for the judges decision.

    Fleury said he would like to make the next federal election about changing the laws around sex crimes. His call for Canadians to speak up has already received a celebrity endorsement on Twitter from Brett Wilson, a Calgary businessman and regular on CBC's "Dragon's Den."

    Fleury also wants more money spent to help victims of abuse, who he says often go untreated and turn to drugs, alcohol or crime.

    "It's just a vicious cycle that keeps going. We need more funding for programs that get people into recovery."

    He gave as an example The Men's Project — a charity he skated for on CBC's "Battle of the Blades" — which helps men recover from sexual abuse.

    "The only way we're going to see change is to get more people in recovery. That's the change that has to happen."

    Fleury is using his website to urge Canadians to contact their MPs.

    "In my opinion, the decision to grant Graham James bail ... means those who have suffered in silence will not feel confident about stepping up and voicing their concerns," he says on the site.

    "We absolutely must do something about this for the future of our children. I encourage you to contact your member of Parliament and complain."

    In Ottawa on Wednesday, two federal cabinet ministers and a senator pressed the opposition to pass the government's get-tough-on-crime legislation.

    Public Safety Minister Vic Toews highlighted one bill which would make it harder to get pardons like the one James received in 2007.

    "I’d certainly call upon the opposition to get the pardons bill through," he said.

    "Again, a very important measure in order to protect . . . those who have been victims of sexual offenders."

    But critics of the government's tough-on-crime agenda have been scathingly targeted when they point out serious flaws in proposed legislation.

    Liberal public safety critic Mark Holland was recently accused of siding with pedophiles over victims after he critiqued current pardons legislation that will deny thousands of reformed, repeat criminals a chance at ever clearing their record.

    "The danger is, if you try to apply a rule to fix one situation, you create a cascade of unintended consequences that have very devastating impacts on a host of other people, some of whom might be innocent," Holland said Wednesday.

    "As a father I feel as strongly as anyone that we need to do everything we can. But by the same token, if we're not careful and we do things in a knee-jerk fashion to focus on a single case, we can end up doing a lot more harm than good."

    James, who is 58, served almost two years in jail in the late 1990s for assaulting three young hockey players, including NHLer Sheldon Kennedy. He was initially convicted of assaulting Kennedy and another junior player. About a year later, he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a 14-year-old boy in 1971. He was given six months in jail to be served concurrently to the original sentence.

    James was pardoned and moved to Mexico, but he returned to Canada after Winnipeg police issued a warrant on the new charges in October. He turned himself in and was returned to the city where he has remained in custody for more than a month.

    Child molester jailed 12 years for ‘shocking’ crimes

    Published On Tue Dec 7 2010

    He preyed on the most vulnerable, using young girls to satisfy his sexual urges, sometimes as they slept, other times using force, threats or rewards.

    To curb the sex drive that led to his “shocking” and “horrifying” crimes, convicted child molester Michael Ross Stratton should undergo chemical castration, Justice Paul Bellefontaine said in Oshawa court Tuesday.

    Labelling the former Whitby resident a long-term offender, Bellefontaine sentenced him to 12 years in jail followed by 10 years of close supervision to protect the community.

    But with credit for time served, Stratton, 43, faces only three more years in penitentiary. With eligibility for day parole in six months and full parole in 12 months, he could be out next year.

    Stratton pleaded guilty last year to 13 counts of assault, sexual assault and child pornography involving nine victims, aged 9 to 15, over a 14-year period.

    “These were obviously very vulnerable victims that Mr. Stratton preyed upon,” Bellefontaine said. “Mr. Stratton’s admitted sexual attraction to young girls is an ingrained lifelong sexual preference that will take substantial treatment to be controlled.”

    Concluding that Stratton is at “moderate risk” to reoffend — based on the opinion of several professionals — Bellefontaine recommended that treatment include counselling and drugs to lower his libido.

    During earlier testimony, court heard Stratton befriended girls and took them to McDonald’s and Canada’s Wonderland, earning a reputation for being “cool” because he gave them alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana. At home, he videotaped his sexual abuse of the children through oral sex, fondling and, in some cases, sexual intercourse.

    The abuse of one girl while he “relentlessly pursues his goal of stealing her virginity” offers “heart-wrenching insight into a pedophile at work,” Bellefontaine told court.

    But he rejected the Crown’s contention that Stratton should be declared a dangerous offender, saying he didn’t want the parole board to determine the man’s fate. That designation would have put Stratton in jail indefinitely with periodic reviews.

    The ponytailed father of one showed little emotion as several victims listened to the decision that included recommendations Stratton get treatment for anger management and substance abuse. He has spent the last 4½ years isolated in a cell the size of an average bathroom.

    At an earlier hearing that included psychiatric assessments, defence lawyer Alan Risen argued his client was remorseful and willing to undergo treatment. But Crown Attorney Kent Saliwonchyk predicted his sex crimes would continue.

    On Tuesday, a sobbing victim said she’d lost trust and confidence, and gained emotional scars for life. “I hope you never make it to be a free man,” she told Stratton.

    A young child at the time, she was asleep during the abuse and found out as a teenager that she was in his videotapes. “He absolutely disgusts me,” she said outside court.

    Pedophile lured teens into sending revealing photos

    The textED.ca site can teach parents and teens alike about the lingo of texting.

    The textED.ca site can teach parents and teens alike about the lingo of texting.

    Updated: Fri Nov. 19 2010 6:52:22 PM


    A Toronto police detective related a story at a safe texting event that could be considered a teenage boy's worst nightmare.

    "In one case alone from this year, over 40 teenage boys shared video of themselves naked and touching their private parts," Det. Sgt. Kim Scanlan, head of the Toronto Police Service's child exploitation unit, said Friday.

    "Each of them believed that the person they were sharing with was a young teen girl -- although they'd never met in person. They'd only texted and shared on some social networking sites."

    The “teen girl” turned out to be an older man, she said.

    That man then turned around and shared the video with other pedophiles, Scanlan said.

    "The embarrassment and humiliation of the 40 boys we could identify was monumental. None of them wanted anyone else to know, and few would agree to come to court," she said.

    Another case saw a teenage girl send pictures to an online boyfriend who also turned out to be involved in distributing child pornography, she said.

    "Too many do not seem to fully understand the real-world consequences of their actions," she said.

    "School-age teens are getting into trouble by sharing suggestive digital text, video and images. More and more of these images are ending up in criminal investigations, which waters down the real horror of child pornography," Scanlan said.

    The detective was speaking Friday at an event at Runnymede Public School on safe texting.

    Texting is an integral part of life for today's teens. They are estimated to send an estimated 3,000 text messages per month, or about six per waking hour.

    "That's one of the ways I communicate with my son actually is through texts," said Laureen Harper, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's wife, who attended the event. "Last night I actually texted him.  I could hear him -- 'go to bed' -- so I use that all the time."

    Many parents don't understand the technology and how it can be misused -- while many teens don't know how to stay safe.

    The TextED.ca website is designed to teach students in Grades 7 and higher how to avoid trouble.

    It had the approval of Ishta Xavier, a 13-year-old. "I like all the games and activities because it's really teaching you tips and stuff but in a fun way for children."

    Harper admitted she didn't know all the lingo associated with texting, such as POS -- or "parent over the shoulder -- and code9, meaning an adult's around.

    The site contains a section called "the 411" -- guidelines for safe texting.

    Number three? "I will never send nude pics, either of me or another, via text message (or by any other means)."

    With a report from CTV Toronto's Janice Golding

    Serial Killer Clifford Olson Denied Parole

    2010/11/30 | Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

    Clifford Olson is led away from court in Regina, Sask., April 4, 1996. CP PICTURE ARCHIVE/ Regina Leader Post/ Roy Antal.
    Clifford Olson, one of Canada's most notorious serial killers, declared that he would never seek parole again after having his request for freedom rejected Tuesday.

    Olson appeared before the National Parole Board for the second time in four years.

    The decision came as no surprise. The last time he tried, in 2006, Olson was swiftly rejected and, again Tuesday, the parole board concluded he still represented a threat to society.

    "This is the final time," Olson said after hearing the verdict.

    "Never again."

    And, as the child-killer left the room, he said, "And I'm out."

    It is highly unlikely Olson would ever have seen the outside of a jail anyway, having shown no signs of remorse and twice having been found by the parole board to represent a threat despite decades of incarceration.

    Some family members said they wanted to be there in person Tuesday, to see him being turned down.

    The families of some of his 11 young victims, killed in the early 1980s, say Olson shouldn't be allowed any more time in the spotlight.

    This year he became embroiled in a clash with Ottawa when the government tried to strip him of his pension.

    Olson, now 70, has served 25 years of a life sentence for murdering 11 young people in British Coumbia in the early 1980s.

    According to parole rules, Olson now has the right to request an audience before the board every two years.

    The families of his victims have said in the past that he seems to relish the idea of dragging them back.

    During his first hearing in 2006, parole officials took only about half an hour to deny Olson parole, saying he posed a "clear and present danger" to the public.

    A three-member board agreed with recommendations by correctional staff that Olson would surely murder again if released.

    Citing recommendations from correctional staff, board member Jacques Letendre said in 2006 that the risk posed by Olson hadn't diminished in nearly three decades behind bars.

    "Mr. Olson presents a high risk and a psychopathic risk," Letendre said four years ago. "He is a sexual sadist and a narcissist."

    "The (correctional team) believes that if released, he will kill again."

    While new federal legislation is in the works to do away with automatic parole hearings after 25 years, the legislation won't be retroactive.

    That means that Olson, the self-described "Beast of British Columbia," is able to get on a soapbox every two years and argue his right to be free.

    But victims' families would be pleased if he stuck to his word and never surfaced again.

    Sharon Rosenfeldt, whose son Daryn Johnsrude was Olson's third victim, compared Olson to a famous fictitious serial killer.

    "Hannibal Lecter — that's what comes to my mind," Rosenfeldt said.

    "Although he was fictional, Clifford Olson is not. He is real."

    The hearing took place under tight security in Canada's only super-maximum security prison, where Olson is locked up, north of Montreal. The Special Handling Unit is reserved for the most dangerous inmates.

    Despite being kept in isolation, Olson has managed to stay in the news through a fight with Ottawa over pension cheques he's receiving; a few years back, he also attempted to sell his personal effects on a website.

    Olson was sentenced to life in prison in 1982 after he confessed to murdering eight girls and three boys ranging in age from nine to 18. He struck a deal with authorities and was paid $100,000 to lead police to their bodies. The money was given to his ex-wife and son.

    At his 2006 hearing, Olson appeared delusional.

    He refused to return to the room to hear the board refuse his release. He also rambled during that hearing about information he had on the 9-11 attacks.

    Elizabeth Smart: Alleged abductor used religion to justify crude, vulgar, self-serving actions

    Elizabeth Smart, right, her mother Lois Smart, left, leave the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse Monday, Nov. 8, 2010, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)

    SALT LAKE CITY — The man accused of abducting Elizabeth Smart was a crude, vulgar, self-serving person who used religion to justify his actions, including her kidnapping and rape, she told jurors on her third and final day of testimony.

    "He was his number one priority, followed by sex, drugs and alcohol, but he used religion in all of those aspects to justify everything," Smart said in a clear voice.

    She finished her testimony Wednesday morning after just 15 minutes of cross-examination by a defence lawyer for Brian David Mitchell, an itinerant street preacher accused of taking her from home knifepoint on June 5, 2002, when she was 14.

    Mitchell, 57, is charged in federal court with kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines. If convicted, he faces a life sentence.

    Mitchell was not in the courtroom to hear to hear Smart testify. As on each previous day of the trial, he was removed for disrupting the proceedings by singing hymns. He watches the trial on closed-circuit television from a holding cell.

    Mitchell's defence attorneys contend he suffers from an escalating mental illness and holds extreme religious beliefs that lead him to think he is directed by God.

    Smart gave a spirited rejection of that contention on the stand Wednesday, calling Mitchell a hypocrite.

    "Nine months of living with him and seeing him proclaim that he was God's servant and called to do God's work and everything he did to me ... is something that I know that God would not tell somebody to do," she said. "God would never tell someone to kidnap her at knifepoint from their bed, from her sister's side ... never continue to rape her and sexually abuse her."

    Now 23, Smart was found in March 2003 with Mitchell.

    In previous testimony, she said during those nine months that she endured almost daily rapes and was forced to drink alcohol, use drugs and view pornography.

    On the night of her kidnapping, Smart said Mitchell led her to a mountainside camp above Salt Lake City, where she was stripped of her red pyjamas and dressed in white robes before being forced to marry him in a quickie ceremony Mitchell performed himself.

    Mitchell also repeatedly threatened that Smart, her family, or anyone who tried to help her would be killed if she ever tried to escape.

    Smart said she did reach out for help on one of the trips she made with Mitchell and his wife at the time, Wanda Eileen Barzee, from their campsite.

    "Ms. Barzee took me into the bathroom at the Hard Rock Cafe and I tried to scratch 'help' into the bathroom stall," Smart said.

    Much of Wednesday's testimony centred on Mitchell's use of faith and his writing, "The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah," a rambling tome that outlines his own brand of religions that mixed Bible teachings with the early doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and New Age philosophers.

    Smart said she had read the book and Mitchell had spoken of it with her but had never discussed his controversial ideas about faith -- including polygamy -- with anyone else.

    During a short cross-examination, Smart was asked by federal public defender Robert Steele whether Mitchell's use of prayers and blessings seemed familiar to her own practice of Mormonism.

    Smart said there was some similarity, but Mitchell used verbal prayers to manipulate her and Barzee, including to have sex.

    "The things that he would say in his prayers were things that I would never have said," she replied.

    "He would say, 'Please bless me,' (Smart), that I would be able to cope with my wifely duties and be able to rise to the occasion and fulfil my wifely duties. That is about the farthest thing from my prayers."

    Toronto judge calls CSIS conduct ‘reprehensible’

    Published On Wed Oct 06 2010
    Betsy Powell Courts Bureau

    A Brampton Muslim leader has been acquitted of child porn possession after a Superior Court judge found agents working for Canada’s spy agency acted in a “reprehensible” manner by illegally seizing and searching his computer.

    In a sternly worded decision, Justice Jane Kelly concluded Ayad Mejid provided his laptop computer to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service after he was threatened by agents investigating him as a suspected terrorist.

    She was particularly critical of an agent known as Witness “A,” whose conduct she described as “flagrant and deliberate.”

    Mejid felt he had “no choice” but to turn over his computer in October 2007 after being told it was his “last chance” to prove he was not a terrorist, the judge wrote. Witness A, whose identity was protected in court, told Mejid an extramarital affair would be disclosed if he didn’t cooperate.

    Kelly, who summarized her 21-page decision in court Wednesday, said the admission of evidence would bring the administration of justice into disrepute, prompting the prosecution to withdraw the charges of possessing child pornography.

    Outside court, Mejid, 47, said his elation over the acquittal is tempered by the suffering his family has endured since he was charged in 2007.

    “We’re happy for this end, but we’ve already (been) punished for three years. I spent almost 50 days in jail for no reason. Our lives are ruined.”

    His lawyer, David Kolinsky, said it’s “gratifying to have a court recognize the degree to which his rights were violated.”

    Kolinsky noted the Supreme Court of Canada has said if breaches of Charter rights are “technical or small or made in good faith” then the evidence tends to be included. Only when violations reach the more serious end of the scale is evidence excluded, he said.

    Kelly concluded the Charter breach was “serious” and wrote she is troubled by “the atmosphere of coercion and intimidation that the CSIS agents . . . seem to have created and been eager to embrace.

    “The very people that are tasked by the federal government to oversee and safeguard Canada’s national security are themselves acting in a manner that suggests either a complete lack of comprehension of our Charter rights or else, they demonstrate a total willingness to abrogate and violate these same principles.”

    Accused in child porn case says CSIS forced laptop search

    Peter Small Courts Bureau

    A Brampton Muslim leader charged with possessing child pornography says he was forced by CSIS agents, obsessed with the idea that he was a terror propagandist, into handing over his computer for a search.

    “I said, ‘You don’t have permission to take it,” Ayad Mejid testified Monday.

    “They said, ‘If we want we will get permission. We will go in your house in front of your neighbours and your children and we will take it,’ ” he told his lawyer, David Kolinsky.

    The Canadian Security Intelligence Service suspected the Iraqi-born Canadian citizen of being Abu Banan, an online Islamist propagandist preaching hatred against the West.

    Mejid, a 47-year-old father of three, is charged with possessing, making and distributing child pornography.

    He is challenging the October 2007 search of his computer by CSIS agents, which allegedly turned up images of young girls engaged in sex acts.

    He is arguing that his rights against unreasonable search and seizure were infringed.

    He has previously told the Star that he has no knowledge of any child pornography.

    Mejid alleges in an affidavit that a CSIS agent pressured him to contact people of interest to the spy service and, when he refused, threatened to tell his wife that he was cheating on her and that he was interested in teenagers.

    Crown prosecutor Michally Iny suggested that Mejid readily agreed to hand over the computer to clear his name of any terrorism suspicions.

    “I was forced to give it to them,” he insisted.

    A CSIS technician, whose identity cannot be reported, testified that he made a copy of the hard drive from Mejid’s laptop after it was brought to him by an agent to examine for evidence of terrorism links.

    The technician, who testified on the other side of two screens to protect his identity, said that after subjecting the hard drive copy to analysis by forensic software, he stumbled upon child pornography videos.

    They were stored under the user’s “My Documents” folder and readily available, the technician testified.

    He said he looked at three of the videos.

    “I saw a child actually performing oral sex on a man; another one had a little girl on a bed. She was naked at the time. And another one had a young girl having intercourse with a man.”

    He said he made a second copy of the hard drive, which was given to Toronto police.

    The trial without a jury, in front of Ontario Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly, continues Wednesday.

    Newmarket man jailed for kiddie porn

    Last Updated: October 5, 2010 5:36p

    A 45-year-old Newmarket man was sentenced to five years in jail for distributing child pornography, police said Tuesday.

    Lawrence Brandridge pleaded guilty to possession, distribution and production of child pornography on June 17, a York Regional Police press release said.

    On Friday, he was sentenced to five years in jail and ordered to stay away from areas where kids under 16 years old are reasonably expected to be, give a DNA sample and hand over personal computers, police said.

    Cops north of Toronto found child pornography on computers and media belonging to Brandridge after launching an investigation in December 2008.

    He was arrested on Sept. 16, 2009 following a raid on his Newmarket home, where police found "a large number of computers and media" that were taken in for analysis, the press release said.

    "York Regional Police is reminding residents that October is Child Abuse Prevention Month," the press release said. "The production and distribution of child pornography directly promotes the abuse of children. Child pornography is the victimization of children to the fullest and is a crime which has no borders."

    Anyone with information about child sex abuse and exploitation on the Internet was asked to contact Det.-Sgt. Alison Cattanach at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7085 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, 1800222tips.com, or by texting TIPYORK and your message to CRIMES.

    Former B.C. municipal official charged with 1973 sexual assault

    Last Updated: October 5, 2010 2:00am


    WINNIPEG - A former municipal official in Delta, B.C., has been charged in an alleged sexual assault which occurred in Winnipeg in 1973.

    Winnipeg police said Cleo (Kip) Gaudry is charged with indecent assault on a young female.

    Gaudry, 59, was arrested on a warrant in White Rock, B.C., on Sept. 14 and escorted to Winnipeg by police. He has since been released on bail.

    He is already facing charges in B.C. for possessing and accessing child pornography stemming from raids at his house and office, a report in the Surrey Leader states.

    He resigned his position as Delta's municipal director of engineering when he was formally charged last March, the newspaper reported.

    Fifteen-year search for pedophile Canadian priest ends — with him going free

    Published On Sun By Mary Ormsby Feature Writer

    The bearded man stares steadily from Interpol’s “wanted” poster, his hooded winter parka unzipped, large tinted glasses shading his eyes. Canadian Eric Dejaeger was a code red fugitive, the international police organization’s highest alert.

    Dejaeger’s offences were listed in capital letters: CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN.

    What wasn’t listed was his profession: Roman Catholic priest.

    The RCMP’s pursuit of Dejaeger, who left footprints in the Canadian Arctic, at Lourdes’ holy grotto and around a quiet Flemish Oblate house, was a fruitless 15-year hunt. The case appeared dormant. Then, on Sept. 13, the 63-year-old surrendered to Belgian police in the city of Leuven where he was interviewed — and, stunningly, released.

    Belgian federal authorities said they could not begin extradition proceedings against Dejaeger — who in 1990 pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting eight children in the Northwest Territories, and who was later charged with assaults in Igloolik, Nunavut — because Canada’s Justice Department hadn’t filed a formal extradition request.

    “Why? Why? Why? I just keep asking ‘Why?’” said Igloolik Mayor Lucassie Ivalu. He and others in the remote village of about 1,700 in the Northwest Passage, were unaware Dejaeger was living and working freely in Europe and that the outstanding charges had not been tried.

    “We didn’t even know he was hiding,” Ivalu said. “We thought the authorities had already dealt with him because it was so many years ago that we heard he’d been (accused of) abusing (Igloolik) boys . . . When I heard he’d turned himself in, I was really shocked and angry.”

    Barry McLaren, the Iqaluit-based chief federal prosecutor in Nunavut assigned to the case, said he didn’t know why it took so long to find the Dejaeger. He described the matter as “incredibly complicated.”

    “It’s an unusual case for this territory, it’s also an unusual case for the country,” McLaren said.

    Officials with the Justice Department would not comment on the case, directing Star queries about extradition to Belgian officials. The Belgian justice ministry office that deals with extraditions did not reply to written questions.

    Canada’s apparent extradition bungle is just one of the puzzling twists in a tale of faith and betrayal that began 32 years ago in Igloolik, which sits on an island in the Northwest Passage.

    Suspicion that fellow priests helped hide Dejaeger in Europe, confusion over the Belgian-born cleric’s citizenship, concern a known sex offender crossed borders undetected and anger at the glacial pace in tracking him are among the issues raised by the case. There are few answers for northern residents demanding to know why it continues to drag on.

    Anger like Ivalu’s is rising around the world as the ongoing sexual abuse crisis swamps the Catholic Church and its spiritual leader Pope Benedict, with too-frequent revelations of children being molested by clergy.

    The most recent allegations are from Quebec. Radio-Canada reported Thursday that a former member of the Order of Holy Cross says the religious group was aware of allegations of sexual abuse by Holy Cross brothers, but did nothing.

    A nine-page document lists specific abuse allegations over the years at Montreal's College Notre Dame, and names a dozen Holy Cross brothers as alleged abusers. Radio-Canada also reported the document shows how alleged abusers at the private school were not reported to the police but allowed to remain as teachers or support staff.

    In southern Ontario, a priest from the Congregation of St. Basil is facing sexual assault charges in Windsor and Toronto. The Windsor charges against Rev. William Hodgson Marshall are from incidents in the 1950s and 1980s, while the Toronto allegations are from 1953 involving a former St. Michael’s College student, then 15.

    Priestly abuse has a deeper, darker meaning in Canadian communities like Igloolik, where generations of children were torn from parents and shipped to residential Christian schools. Roman Catholic missionaries operated many of the schools where native children were sexually, physically and mentally abused by clerics. In some native communities, the cycle of abuse has continued.

    “This cycle goes on and on for many years and that is why I’m so angry at this guy,” said Ivalu. “And this is why I’m so angry at the RCMP for not taking (seriously) what the little boys said (in accusing the priest.) Why would these little boys, who now as adults, make this up for so long?”

    The RCMP would not comment on the cross-Atlantic Dejaeger investigation. But this is what’s known:

    The Belgian-born priest, who became a Canadian citizen in 1977, is wanted for three counts of indecent assault on a male and three counts of buggery for incidents involving minors and alleged to have occurred between 1978 and 1982 in Igloolik. These charges were laid after he completed a five-year sentence in April of 1995 (a penitentiary stint, a halfway house then probation) for abusing children in Baker Lake, then part of the Northwest Territories, now part of Nunavut. Dejaeger left Canada before his first court date in June of 1995 and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

    Six years later, the Interpol red alert was circulated. Nine years after that, in May of this year, Belgian journalist Douglas De Coninck published an article detailing Dejaeger’s life on the lam. The priest worked with pilgrims in Lourdes and participated in masses. A member of the Oblate Order of Mary Immaculate, he was living at the order’s villa in Blanden. Several months after the article appeared, Dejaeger voluntarily turned himself in at the Leuven police station.

    De Coninck used documents compiled for magistrate Godelieve Halsberghe’s abuse inquiry into Belgium’s Catholic clergy to accuse local Oblates of lying about their knowledge of Dejaeger’s criminal troubles and hiding him from the law. It was also reported the priest falsely claimed for many years that he was a Belgian citizen — a right he officially gave up in 1977 (according to Belgian law at the time) when he became Canadian.

    What happened during the 1980s in Baker Lake, a native Canadian village of about 1,000, offers disturbing insight into how the priest preyed on trusting families.

    One of the victims was a boy he used as a sexual partner for a period of between five to seven years, starting when the boy was 10 or 12. Sexual activity took place in the mission residence where the boy visited frequently for several years and in other Baker Lake homes where Dejaeger house-sat. Dejaeger and the boy regularly showered together and slept in the same bed. He even took the boy on a long trip to Europe.

    In 1990, Dejaeger pleaded guilty to nine sexual assault charges involving boys and girls ranging in ages 9 to 14 when the attacks began.

    Oddly, Justice Ted Richard of the Northwest Territories Supreme Court wrote in his sentence decision that Dejaeger was not a pedophile even though “it does not appear that he stopped this activity on his own but only when he was caught.” It’s unclear how he was caught.

    Dejaeger admitted to, among other sexual acts, having anal intercourse with boys and digital vaginal penetration with girls. Yet Richard seemed to praise the priest’s restraint:

    “Because of the age of the victims of these assaults, consent is not an issue or a factor to be considered. However, it should be noted in fairness to the offender here that no violence was used in committing these assaults,” Richard wrote 20 years ago.

    Winnipeg lawyer Rheal Teffaine, who represents the Manitoba diocese of Churchill-Baie d’Hudson — which includes Baker Lake and Igloolik — said the diocese did not realize the extent of Dejaeger’s abuses.

    “We didn’t know this guy was a bloody monster,’’ said Teffaine.

    In the wake of the Baker Lake crimes, the diocese created a “healing fund” and settled every civil suit without making victims go to court.

    The lawyer said he and others in the diocese “lost sight” of Dejaeger when he want to jail and are puzzled how he was able to leave Canada in 1995.

    “We cannot figure out how he got through the border. He had a criminal record.”

    Belgium and Canada are reportedly discussing a possible extradition of Dejaeger. For now, he remains free.

    Former Toronto teacher charged in 1953 sex assault case involving student

    The Canadian Press

    TORONTO — An 88-year-old Toronto man faces charges in a sex assault alleged to have occurred 57 years ago.

    Police say the alleged assault happened in the fall of 1953, when the accused worked as a school teacher at St. Michael's College.

    Police say a teacher coaching an after school basketball program asked a 15-year-old student to come into a private room at the school.

    Once in the private room, police say the boy was assaulted.

    William Hodgson Marshall was charged Wednesday with two accounts of indecent assault

    Sex tourist pleads guilty to child porn

    Last Updated: August 20, 2010 1:54pm

    WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg sex tourist who just finished a three-year prison sentence in the U.S. pleaded guilty Friday to possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 46 days time served.

    Doron Waldman, a former website developer with CBC Manitoba, was transported back to Winnipeg in July following the completion of a 37-month prison sentence in Arizona.

    Waldman, 37, was arrested in November 2007 in Tucson where he believed he was going to be introduced to young boys for sex.

    According to court documents, Waldman came to the attention of U.S. police in August 2007 when he responded to an ad on an Internet newsgroup, which read: "If you are young at heart and enjoy warm weather and HOTT fun, Mexico is cheap and we make all the arrangements."

    Waldman responded with a series of e-mails and requested "that he be provided with boys 12 to 14 years old over a six-day period and indicated that he wanted 'one delight per 24 hours' with 'some variety of delights throughout the week.' "

    What Waldman didn't know was the "tour operator" he was corresponding with was an undercover police agent.

    Local Mounties executed a search warrant at his Winnipeg home, where they found nearly 1,500 child pornography images on his computer and 23 pornographic videos featuring young boys.

    Court heard Friday the child pornography allegations were included in U.S. sentencing submissions. While Waldman was not charged with possession of child pornography in the U.S., the allegation was considered an aggravating factor and impacted the sentence he received, said Crown attorney Terry McComb.

    Hamilton Pediatrician Charged With Sexual Assault, Sexual Interference

    2010/07/30 | CityNews.ca Staff

    A Hamilton pediatrician was arrested this week and charged with sexual assault and sexual interference related to a complaint lodged by a patient, police said.

    The 53-year-old man was arrested Thursday, Hamilton Police said, and investigators are asking anyone with additional information, or other alleged victims, to contact them.

    Authorities say the charges stem from a complaint filed by an 11-year-old patient of the suspect. The investigation started in April.

    Dr. Daniel Marshall is charged. He’s had offices at both 432 Main St. East and 40 Mohawk Rd. E in Hamilton. He appeared in court Friday and was released on bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 8.

    If you have any information, contact Hamilton Police’s Child Abuse Branch at (905) 540-6375.

    Toronto man arrested for luring a child online

    Published On Thu Jul 29
    Fabiola Carletti Staff Reporter

    A Toronto man has been arrested in connection with internet luring charges involving at least one child in New Mexico.

    Officers from the child exploitation section of the Sex Crimes Unit raided the suspect’s home on Wednesday after securing a search warrant.

    The man is accused of engaging a young person in sexual conversations and attempting to exchange sexually explicit pictures.

    Yasir Rafiq, 25, faces several related charges, including invitation to sexual touching, luring a child under 16, and possessing child pornography.

    Police are still searching the suspect’s computer for more evidence, but believe there may be more victims.

    Investigators are alerting the public to the suspect’s online identity. The man was using the name “JamesBlake” and the email address yr-84@hotmail.com.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Child Exploitation Section at 416-808-8500 or anonymously contact crime stoppers by calling 416-222-TIPS (8477), texting TOR and a message to CRIMES (274637) or going online at www.222tips.com

    Tip leads to child-porn bust

    Last Updated: July 29, 2010

    Disturbed by what they found on a computer, friends of a man they were hosting at their Little Britain home called police.

    Durham detectives confirmed the man was viewing child pornography and the British national was arrested.

    Police said they have evidence that the viewing had occurred for at least a year.

    His hosts, who live in the hamlet north of Port Perry, eventually discovered what was allegedly being viewed and called police.

    Sgt. Nancy van Rooy said the unemployed man was allegedly viewing a number of sites on the laptop computer.

    The man was arrested July 21.

    David Dowden, 19, of no fixed address, is charged with possessing child pornography.


    Serial Child Sex Offender Facing Multiple Charges

    2010/07/08 | CityNews.ca Staff

    A St. Catharines man is facing 15 sex charges involving underage children.

    Detectives began investigating Shawn Michael Dunn, 41 in March 2010. The initial allegations involved a 10-year old victim, but investigators soon uncovered five additional people who say they had been victimized over a 20 year span.

    All of the alleged incidents reportedly occurred in St. Catharines and involved girls between 10 and 15 years old.

    Dunn has been charged with:

    • Sexual Assault - 7 counts
    • Sexual Interference - 2 counts
    • Invitation To Sexual Touching - 1 count
    • Anal Intercourse - 2 counts
    • Sexual Exploitation - 1 count
    • Sexual Assault With a Weapon - 1 count
    • Sexual Intercourse With  A Female Under Fourteen - 1 count

    Police believe there may be more victims in this case. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Greg Beaulieu at 905-688-4111 Ext. 5134 or the Child Abuse Unit at Ext. 5100 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

    MPs reach deal to deny Homolka pardon

    Last Updated: June 16, 2010 8:42pm

    A government bill that would prevent convicted killer Karla Homolka from applying for a pardon as early as July 5 has one day to pass, or else.

    OTTAWA — Karla Homolka can apply for — but will be denied — a pardon this summer because of frantic last-minute negotiations by all four federal parties to block her application.

    Public Safety Minister Vic Toews announced the deal late Wednesday, saying parts of the government's bill to reform the pardon system have been hived off to be voted on Thursday, the last day of Parliament before the summer recess.

    Homolka would have been eligible to apply for a pardon July 5, having lived five years crime-free after serving her complete sentence for the deaths of her sister and teenagers Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy with her then-husband Paul Bernardo in the early 1990s.

    "In the circumstances, in order to get this bill through ... this is something that all four parties, I think, can agree to," Toews said, being careful not to mention Homolka by name, likely for fear of legal challenges of discrimination.

    "If this bill is passed, I believe that people like the individual you mentioned (Karla Homolka) would not fit the criteria for a pardon."

    While neither Toews nor his critics divulged details of the agreement Wednesday, it's expected Homolka will be denied a pardon because of a clause that would allow the National Parole Board to refuse one if granting it would put the justice system or administration into "disrepute."

    In order for it to become law, the compromise bill must be agreed to by all four parties Thursday and pass the Senate before they break for the summer at the end of the month.

    One clause not in Wednesday's deal, but included in the original government bill, is that people convicted of three indictable offences or more would be ineligible to ever apply for a pardon.

    Toews said the rest of the bill will be debated in the fall.

    NDP public safety critic Don Davies said Wednesday was a long day of negotiations, but in the end, he's happy with the outcome.

    "I'm confident that Ms. Homolka, while she'll be able to apply for a pardon, I don't think she'll get one this July or ever," Davies said, adding the government delayed addressing the issue for far too long.

    "This government's been asleep at the switch. This didn't sneak up on us. Karla Homolka has been marching towards her five-year term expiry that comes up in July.

    "They waited until June 14, the last week of Parliament, to put this bill in Parliament."

    The government had proposed legislation a month ago to radically change the country's pardon system, which Toews said "rubber-stamped" applications.

    In 2009, 99% of pardon applications were approved.

    But the opposition worried the sweeping changes, that would have restricted who can apply for pardons and given the National Parole Board increased powers to deny them, was hastily put together following word that convicted sex-offender Graham James received a pardon in 2007.

    Opposition MPs have said parts of the bill that had nothing to do with Homolka’s eligibility should be studied by committee.


    Man mistakenly suspected of child porn

    Last Updated: May 26, 2010 6:43pm

    An unsuspecting Bowmanville man was stunned when cops showed up at his home last week believing he was a child porn collector.

    The man, whose name was not released, was initially arrested but later released when Durham and OPP officers realized someone else had hijacked his IP address.

    "The last thing we want to do is hang this type of crime on someone who is innocent," Det. Randy Norton, of Durham's Sex Assault Unit, said Wednesday.

    Getting caught up in a child pornography investigation could ruin a person's life, but Norton said it's easily prevented.

    "You need to secure the access to their wireless Internet or you may become an innocent victim," cautioned Norton, explaining it's as simple as adding a password to keep unwanted users locked out of your connection.

    "It's right in the instructions when you set up your wireless router," he added.

    It appears someone tapped into the man's wireless connection, possibly from the parking lot of a nearby plaza.

    Police were able to look on his computer and see he did not have the software needed to download child abuse images, so no charges were laid.

    But Norton said it wasted a lot of police resources, caused undue stress on the resident, while the real paedophile escaped,

    "This man was devastated to learn someone had used his connection to download child porn," Norton said.


    Perv Santa addicted to porn, court told

    Last Updated: May 21, 2010 6:57pm

    BARRIE — A man who played Santa Claus in the community for several years admitted he is obsessed and addicted to child pornography, a court heard Friday.

    Daniel Walter Gyselinck, 58, pled guilty to possession of more than 90,000 images of child pornography and 1,211 movie clips showing children being sexually abused.

    Standing in the prisoner’s box in handcuffs with a white beard and snowy white hair, Gyselinck remained silent during his sentencing hearing.

    Court heard Gyselinck downloaded the material from the Internet and copied it on CDs.

    When police busted his apartment last June, they found stacks of CDs as well as thousands of children’s toys, dolls and stuffed animals in bins and on shelves in his apartment that was decorated in a Christmas theme.

    “He is a risk and a danger to children,” Crown attorney Ann Tierney said. “He has chosen a persona of Santa Claus — the one person children trust most other than their own parents.”

    Court heard Gyselinck played Santa at the Barrie Christmas parade for the past two years as well as at other places.

    In a pre-sentence report, Gyselinck admitted to a probation officer that he was addicted to child pornography and blamed the government for allowing it to be so available on the Internet.

    In the end, Justice James Crawford said he wants Gyselinck to be psychologically tested before he passes sentence. His suggestion was met by doubts by the Crown who said the province will likely not pay for an assessment because pedophilia is not a treatable disease.

    “If there is some form of mental disorder it is in the interests of the safety of the community that it be treated as part of his sentencing,” said the judge. “Because one way or another, this man will be back out in the community again someday.”

    The option of whether or not Gyselinck can be assessed under the Mental Health Act will be spoken to again on May 31.

    Hockey coach in sex abuse case pardoned

    Parole board's action in Graham James case comes amid new allegation of abuse

    Published On Mon A Video: Sex predator's pardon 'deeply troubling'


    Bruce Cheadle
    Jim Bronskill The Canadian Press

    OTTAWA–Graham James, the junior coach convicted of sexually abusing his players in a case that rocked the hockey world, has been pardoned by the National Parole Board, The Canadian Press has learned.

    Though the pardon was granted three years ago, it comes to public light only now as a result of a previously unknown accuser contacting Winnipeg police.

    A shocked Prime Minister's Office, notified of the pardon, called it a "deeply troubling" development that demands an explanation from the parole board.

    James, now 58, pleaded guilty to sexual assault after two of his former teenaged players, including ex-NHLer Sheldon Kennedy, came forward with stories of abuse from 1984 to 1995. James was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison in 1997.

    His whereabouts are unknown.

    "I'm not forgiving of what is going on here," Kennedy told The Canadian Press Sunday night. "He can go and do whatever he wants to do and he can bluff his employers because nobody knows what his background is because it's erased."

    Kennedy added, however, that putting James back in the public spotlight could be a good thing.

    "Graham's conviction brought with it a lot of change and his pardon coming to light is only going to bring more change," he said.

    The latest accuser, who says his encounter with James preceded Kennedy's by four years, is still deciding whether to follow former NHL star Theoren Fleury in lodging a formal complaint with police.

    Fleury went to police in January after publishing a memoir detailing years of alleged abuse by James.

    "I'm shocked and mystified," said Fleury in a statement Sunday.

    "Obviously nobody was proud of the decision or it wouldn't have been a secret."

    The latest accuser spoke to The Canadian Press on condition he not be identified. He was never coached by James but said he was targeted in 1979-80, as a player with prospects.

    Now a lawyer, the man said he learned of James's possible pardon through recent discussions with Winnipeg police.

    The Canadian Press subsequently discovered that James was pardoned on Jan. 8, 2007. The pardon was signed off by Pierre Dion, a full-time member of the Appeal Division of the National Parole Board who also has a clinical psychology practice in Ottawa with court experience in child protection cases.

    Dion was appointed by the Liberals and re-appointed by the Conservatives. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

    A pardon does not erase a person's criminal record, but it means the information doesn't show up on checks of the Canadian Police Information Centre, a key law-enforcement database used by police forces.

    In the case of someone convicted of serious sex offences, the name is flagged in the CPIC system. According to the parole board, that means details of a conviction would be discovered by a check done when a person applies to work with children or other vulnerable people.

    A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, while noting the independence of the parole board, expressed shock the government is learning of the pardon only now.

    "The Prime Minister has asked for explanation" said Dimitri Soudas.


    Peel police identify child porn suspects in 20 countries

    Arrest of Brampton man leads to 73 other suspects

    Mike Funston Urban Affairs Reporter

    The arrest of a 29-year-old Brampton man on child pornography and sexual assault charges sparked a major investigation by Peel Region police that has identified 73 child pornography suspects in 20 countries.

    Two of those suspects have already been arrested by police in the U.S. state of Maine and in Kent, England in the past week, after Peel turned over their files to the respective authorities.

    Police acted on those cases first because they believed children were in imminent danger, Insp. Robert Strain said at a news conference today.

    The suspect in Maine has been charged with possession of pornography and sexual assault. The suspect suspect in Kent was charged with multiple child pornography offences and is a registered sex offender, Strain said.

    Both cases are under publication bans.

    The remaining 71 files from the investigation dubbed Project Unity have been turned over to the RCMP to be forwarded to police in other countries, Strain said.

    Police are hopeful that arrests of other suspects will follow.

    The Brampton arrest occurred last Nov. 17 after a tip from Edmonton police. Five charges against the suspect, including making and possession of child pornography, are before the court under a publication ban. That is the only case in Canada arising from this investigation.

    A total of 18 suspects were identified in Germany, 10 in the U.S., seven in the U.K. and five in the Netherlands. Most of the other suspects are scattered throughout various European countries, India and the Middle East.

    All suspects possessed anywhere from hundreds to millions of images of child pornography, police said

    Peel Police ID More Than 70 Suspects In International Child Porn Probe

    2010/03/30 | CityNews.ca Staff

    File photo

    Peel Regional Police have identified more than 70 suspects in an international child pornography investigation.

    During a four-month undercover operation, dubbed “Project Unity”, authorities identified 73 suspects in 20 countries. Peel investigators plan to share the information they’ve collected with their international colleagues and their work has already led to some arrests.

    The arrest of a 29-year-old Brampton man in November 2009 on sexual assault and child porn charges sparked the massive effort. That suspect is accused of making child pornography and the alleged victim was four-years-old at the time. Details of that case are under a publication ban.

    During the intensive investigation, authorities said two particular cases were a cause of immediate concern for the safety of two youngsters and led to two arrests – one in Maine and another in Kent in the United Kingdom.

    "While the Internet has evolved and shown its potential to assist society is endless . . . we need to remember that there are people out there whose use of the Internet will destroy the lives of our children and their families," said Peel Region Staff Supt. John Nielsen.

    "The victimization of a child has a lifetime effect on their lives, their loved ones and the community at large."

    Among the 20 countries included in the investigation, 18 suspects were identified in Germany, 10 in the United States, seven in the U.K., including the arrest noted above, five in the Netherlands and one in Canada.

    See map of nations involved.

    With files from the Canadian Press

    Peel Police offered some safety tips for parents:

    • communicate with your children about their internet activities
    • keep the computer in an open area of your home, never in the child’s bedroom
    • monitor any web cam usage
    • monitor any use on web sites that are specifically designed for young children
    • protect your wireless router signal with a password

    Here are some useful safety websites:




    The serial killer they couldn't cure dies behind bars

    Peter Woodcock killed three Toronto children in the '50s. On a day pass in 1991, he killed again

    Published On Tue Mar 9 2010

    The last time he killed someone, Peter Woodcock was nearly blind and could barely hear. When he first started, as a teenager, he favoured children – three in Toronto in the space of four months – but later engineered a man's slaying that shook the embattled Ontario forensic psychiatry system.

    Woodcock, a small, pudgy man with tiny hands, weak arms, an extremely vivid fantasy life and a talent for manipulation, died Friday – his 71st birthday – at the Oak Ridge division of the Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre.

    The facility was his home for most of his 53 years in custody.

    Born to a 17-year-old Peterborough factory worker who gave him up for adoption, Woodcock spent the first three years of his life being bounced from one foster family to another. In at least one of those homes, he was physically abused: He arrived at a hospital emergency ward with a twisted neck.

    His luck seemed to change when he was adopted by a wealthy family living near Yonge St. and Lawrence Ave. They spent money on therapists, private schools and bikes for the chubby little boy.

    When Woodcock hit puberty, he began using his bike to travel around Toronto, fantasizing about leading a gang and, in reality, molesting children in Parkdale and Cabbagetown.

    Woodcock killed his first victim, 6-year-old Wayne Mallette, at the CNE grounds on Sept. 16, 1956. Another boy was soon arrested and convicted of Mallette's murder and was serving time in a youth detention centre when Woodcock was finally caught.

    His second victim was 9-year-old Gary Morris. Woodcock picked him up in Cabbagetown three weeks after Mallette's murder and strangled him at Cherry Beach. On Jan. 19, 1957, he killed Carole Voyce, 4, under the Bloor Viaduct. A very accurate police drawing of Woodcock, which ran on the front page of the Star, cracked the case.

    Woodcock arrived in Penetang just as psychiatrists began trying to find ways to cure psychopathic offenders. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was fed LSD. He participated in something called "The Hundred Day Hate-In," where psychopaths were jammed into a room together to force them to develop empathy. He was given powerful drugs and lived in a giant, dark artificial womb for several days.

    These treatments did not work. Woodcock was transferred to less restrictive institutions, eventually arriving at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital. Staff indulged his passion for trains by taking him to the Smiths Falls Railway Museum, and took him to see Silence of the Lambs.

    At the same time, Woodcock, who had legally changed his name to David Michael Krueger, had rekindled a relationship with Bruce Hamill, an Ottawa killer who had been released from Penetang and was working as a security guard at the Ottawa courthouse.

    Woodcock convinced Hamill an alien brotherhood would solve his problems if he helped kill another Brockville inmate, Dennis Kerr.

    On July 13, 1991, Hamill went to a hardware store, bought a plumber's wrench, hatchet, knives and a sleeping bag, then went to the Brockville hospital and signed out Woodcock on his first publicly escorted day pass. They lured Kerr to a secluded spot and butchered him.

    Hamill took a handful of over-the-counter sleeping pills and waited for the aliens to come. Woodcock went to the town police station and confessed.

    The murder generated a coroner's inquest and many calls for a revamping of the system that determines whether mentally ill offenders are well enough to be released.

    Woodcock was taken back to Penetang, where he spent the final 18 years of his life. In his later years, he was a frail-looking man who followed Toronto news closely, listened to short-wave radio broadcasts, and made a quiet life for himself behind the barred doors and double locks of the Penetang institution. He had no family: his death was reported to his lawyer by another serial killer.

    In the years after Kerr's murder, he was the focus of a biography and several documentary films. In his careful, soft-spoken voice, he sometimes tried to explain why he killed, but he never came up with rational reasons.

    "I'm accused of having no morality, which is a fair assessment, because my morality is whatever the system allows," he said in a 1993 interview.

    Mark Bourrie is an Ottawa writer who met Peter Woodcock in 1993 and visited him dozens of times at Oak Ridge. His biography of Woodcock, By Reason of Insanity, was published in 1997.


    Feds expanding sex offender registry

    The Canadian Press

    OTTAWA — All Canadians convicted of sex crimes will automatically have their names added to the national sex offender registry, under legislation Conservatives introduced Monday in a cross-country media blitz.

    And whether it be a predatory pedophile, violent repeat rapist or an immature 21-year-old convicted of having a consensual relationship with a 15-year-old, police can use that information pre-emptively, rather than only as an investigative tool after a crime is committed.

    "If police see an individual behaving suspiciously -- near a school ground for example -- they'll be able to request information from the database," Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan said at a news conference in Ottawa.

    "They will be able to learn if the person involved is a registered sex offender."

    The new legislation, which won't likely be passed into law until next fall at the earliest, includes mandatory submission of DNA samples.

    Currently, a judge has to approve registration of a convicted offender after a formal application by the Crown.

    "Almost half the sex offenders escape the registry," said Van Loan. "That is not acceptable."

    The legislation will also require that Canadians convicted of sex crimes outside the country be included in the registry.

    "No longer will Canada be a safe haven from which travelling sex offenders can operate safely," said the minister.

    Whether the expanded registry is good criminal justice policy is open to debate.

    Whether it is good politics is not.

    "It's very consistent with much of the Tory agenda on crime," said criminologist Neil Boyd of Simon Fraser University.

    "They're looking at how they can shape public opinion."

    A half dozen different Tory cabinet ministers delivered the registry's tough-on-crime message Monday at various points across Canada. The government had already leaked the news to selected media outlets a day earlier.

    Despite the massive media roll-out, the government was unable to say whether any new financial resources would be needed to handle the expanded registry.

    Opposition MPs leapt on the bandwagon.

    "My question to the Conservatives is, what's taken three-and-a-half years to do it?" NDP MP Joe Comartin asked outside the Commons.

    MP Dominic LeBlanc sounded the requisite Liberal concerns about the Charter of Rights but added that "at first glance, anything that will improve the reliability of the information on the registry seems to us to be appropriate."

    But Boyd said repeated studies have shown convicted sex offenders -- "contrary to public perceptions" -- are actually less likely to reoffend than other criminals.

    "There isn't a singular sex offender," he said.

    "If the sex offender registry was really only for violent, predatory sex offenders then it would have a very small number of names."

    The policy change, said Boyd, "is really about imagery. It's not about reality."

    However Lianna McDonald of the Winnipeg-based Canadian Centre for Child Protection called the registry changes "an important step in the right direction."

    McDonald lauded both automatic inclusion and allowing police to use the registry "proactively."

    "I think Canadians will be quite shocked when we see the growth of the registry, when you look at the number of individuals convicted . . . . which speaks to a larger problem we have," she said.

    She said it's a positive development that all people convicted of possessing child pornography, for instance, will be included on the registry.

    McDonald raised the spectre of the 2003 Toronto murder of 10-year-old Holly Jones. The killer confessed later to viewing child pornography before the crime -- although he'd never been caught and convicted, so he would not appear on today's registry.  

    "We know we're not going to catch everybody," McDonald conceded.

    "This is only the tip of the iceberg."

    Facebook removed 5,500 sex offenders since May


    The Associated Press

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Facebook has removed more than 5,500 convicted sex offenders from its social networking website since May, Connecticut's attorney general said Thursday.

    Richard Blumenthal said the world's largest social networking site, which claims to have more than 175 million active members, reported to his office that 5,585 convicted sex offenders were found on the Web site and removed between May 1, 2008, and Jan. 31, 2009.

    "The message in this number is Facebook has an equal stake in solving this problem of protecting children," said Blumenthal, who along with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has led an effort remove sex offenders from the social networking Web sites.

    "They have an equal stake in the predator problem and its solution."

    Earlier this month, rival networking site MySpace announced it had removed 90,000 sex offenders in a two-year period.

    Last year, the attorneys general got both sites to implement dozens of safeguards, including finding better ways to verify users' ages and putting limits on older users' ability to search the profiles of members under 18.

    Chris Kelly, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said the convicted sexual offenders on the site were found through user reports, working with local law enforcement agencies and using the national sex offender registry.

    He said Facebook's focus on members using their real names and identities helps discourage sex offenders, and even more is being planned to prevent them from registering. Earlier this month, Facebook officials said policy dictated that no convicted sex offender be allowed to keep a Facebook page.

    Kelly said the company has pitched a proposal to attorneys general around the country to develop a real-time system cross-checking available outlets and "block any registration from the get-go."

    "Our policy has been to remove convicted sex offenders when they are reported or identified through any means," Kelly said.

    This family photo released by Carl Probyn on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009, shows his stepdaughter, Jaycee Lee Dugard who went missing in 1991. (AP Photo)

    This family photo released by Carl Probyn on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009, shows his stepdaughter, Jaycee Lee Dugard who went missing in 1991. (AP Photo)

    Carl Probyn, 60, stepfather of Jaycee Lee Dugard who went missing in 1991, holds photos of his stepdaughter at his home in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009. (AP / Nick Ut)

    Carl Probyn, 60, stepfather of Jaycee Lee Dugard who went missing in 1991, holds photos of his stepdaughter at his home in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009. (AP / Nick Ut)

    Arrests in 1991 kidnapping after victim contacts police

    Updated Thu. Aug. 27 2009 7:20 PM ET

    The Associated Press

    SACRAMENTO, California -- A woman who was snatched from a bus stop as an 11-year-old child in 1991 turned up Thursday after being held for the past 18 years in isolation in a backyard compound by a convicted sex offender who fathered two children with her, police said.

    The details about her time in captivity emerged after Jaycee Lee Dugard surfaced at a police station in Northern California, nearly two decades after she vanished outside her home.

    Police said Phillip Garrido, 58, held her the entire time as a virtual slave, sheltered from the outside world in tents, sheds and outbuildings in his backyard in suburban Antioch.

    "None of the children have ever been to school, they've never been to a doctor," El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar said. "They were kept in complete isolation in this compound, if you will."

    There was electricity from electrical cords, rudimentary outhouse, rudimentary shower, "as if you were camping," he said.

    Prison officials said Garrido later admitted the kidnapping after meeting with his parole officer. He brought Dugard and the two children, ages 11 and 15, to the meeting.

    Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido, 54, were arrested for investigation of kidnapping and conspiracy on Wednesday, police said.

    Phillip Garrido is also being held for investigation of rape by force, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and sexual penetration, said Jimmie Lee, a spokesman for the Contra Costa Sheriff's Department.

    Phillip Garrido has a conviction for rape by force or fear and was paroled from a Nevada state prison in 1999, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

    Dugard was in good health when she came into a San Francisco Bay area station. She was reunited Thursday with her mother, who was overjoyed to learn the ordeal was over and the daughter she feared dead was actually alive and well.

    Dugard's stepfather, the last person to see her in 1991 and a longtime suspect in the case, said he was overwhelmed after doing everything he could to help find her.

    "It broke my marriage up. I've gone through hell, I mean I'm a suspect up until yesterday," Carl Probyn, 60, told The Associated Press at his home in Orange, Calif.

    California corrections officials said they called in Garrido for questioning Wednesday after receiving a report that he was seen with two small children at the University of California, Berkeley.

    "The diligent questioning and follow-up by the parolee's agent of record led to Garrido revealing his kidnapping of the adult female," the department said in a statement. "It was further revealed by Garrido that she was Jaycee Lee Dugard, and that the children were his."

    A house in the city of Antioch was cordoned off with police tape as it was searched by FBI agents and the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.

    Neighbor Helen Boyer, 78, described the Garridos as nice and friendly and said they cared for Phillip Garrido's elderly mother.

    "If I needed something, they would be the first I would call on," Boyer said.

    Witnesses reported that a vehicle with two people drove up to Dugard and abducted her while her stepfather watched on June 10, 1991.

    Probyn said he saw someone reach out and grab her before the car sped away.

    "As soon as I saw the door fly open, the driver's door, I jumped on my mountain bike and I tried to get to the top of the hill but I had no energy. I rode back down and yelled at my neighbor, 911!" he recalled.

    Probyn said his wife, from whom he is separated, was devastated by the kidnapping. He said for 10 years after the crime, she would take a week off work at Christmas and on the anniversary of the abduction and spend the time crying at home.

    The case attracted national attention and was featured on TV's "America's Most Wanted," which broadcast a composite drawing of a suspect seen in the car.

    Probyn eventually lost hope that he would ever see his stepdaughter alive. He said he was struggling to understand why Dugard didn't come forward earlier.

    "I have a million questions, but I'm just delighted," he said.

    Lovell said investigators have been working the case consistently since the abduction and new leads had surfaced over time.

    "You bet it's a surprise. This is not the normal resolution to a kidnapping," he said.

    The Associated Press as a matter of policy avoids identifying victims of alleged sexual abuse by name in its news reports. However, Dugard's disappearance had been known and reported for nearly two decades, making impossible any effort to shield her identity now.




    Updated: Thu Jul. 16 2009 12:06:27 PM

    The Canadian Press

    SUDBURY, Ont. — Ontario will spend $5.2 million over the next two years to help police working to track down online sexual predators as well as their young victims.

    The money will help support a provincial program that targets online child sex crimes, luring and pornography.

    It's a plan that allows undercover police officers to monitor websites and chat rooms to identify suspected child predators and victims.

    It also helps police investigators work with other agencies and jurisdictions to apprehend offenders.

    Minister of Community Safety Rick Bartolucci says protecting kids from abuse online is a top priority, calling Internet luring "a despicable crime" that warrants the province's full attention.

    Nearly 4,800 investigations have been conducted and almost 2,000 charges have been laid against 634 people since the task force was established in 2006.


    A poster drawing attention to the case of Victoria Stafford, who went missing in Woodstock, Ont. on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.
    A poster drawing attention to the case of Victoria Stafford, who went missing in Woodstock, Ont. on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.

    A poster drawing attention to the case of Victoria Stafford, who went missing in Woodstock, Ont. on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.

    This security camera image shows Victoria Stafford in the company of a mystery woman in a white coat on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.

    This security camera image shows Victoria Stafford in the company of a mystery woman in a white coat on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.

    Samantha Wilson of KidProof said on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 that a scared child is a 'beautiful target.'

    Samantha Wilson of KidProof said on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 that a scared child is a 'beautiful target.'

    Children need power to say 'no,' expert says

    Bill Doskoch, ctvtoronto.ca

    Stories such as the disappearance of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford in Woodstock, Ont. usually renew interest among parents in the concept of streetproofing children.

    Much remains unknown in the case of Stafford, who apparently willingly walked off with an unidentified adult in video footage captured outside a school on April 8.

    A massive ground search that was called off on Monday has turned up no trace of Stafford, also known as Tori -- something the police say may actually be good news.

    Investigators are now focusing on working more than 300 leads they have received from the public -- and trying to identify the mysterious woman in the white coat who is apparently leading Tori away.

    The incident has spooked parents in the Woodstock area.

    "I'm terrified for my children," said Heather Ditchfield, who has two children -- one, like Tori, is eight. "I can't let them go anywhere without me... I'm just really shook up."

    Experts say that stranger attacks on children are relatively rare.

    The RCMP said that in 2007, more than 60,000 children were reported missing in Canada.

    Only 56 of those were kidnappings by strangers, compared to 285 parental abductions. More than 46,000 were classified as runaways.

    Former police officer Samantha Wilson of KidProof told ctvtoronto.ca on Tuesday that what is meant by 'stranger' in police parlance is simply a non-immediate family member, not a total stranger.

    "It could be a friend or distant relative or neighbour who isn't at all a stranger to the child," she said.

    Rule number one

    Whenever these cases come up, they give parents a chance to renew discussions with their children about how to stay safe.

    "The number-one rule to teach kids is don't go anywhere with anyone without asking permission first," Wilson said.

    The most entrenched child-safety rule is don't talk to strangers, but Wilson said that strategy doesn't work.

    "Kids don't get it. And the bottom line is that the people who typically hurt our children are people our children know or who are known to the family," she said. "It's not usually a stranger at all."

    Situations determine a child's safety, she said.

    "For a predator to be able to abduct a child, there has to be a lot of things in alignment for them to be actually able to do it," she said. They need:

    • access
    • an escape route
    • control over the child

    "The way they get control is usually by tricking the child," Wilson said.

    In one tragic case, Cedrika Provencher went missing after going on a bike ride near her Trois Rivieres, Que. home on July 31, 2007. Other girls reported that a man had approached them asking for help to look for his lost puppy.

    Provencher hasn't been seen since.

    Wilson said predators have also posed as police officers or tried to tell children there's been a family emergency.

    "If you really want to help him find his dog, go home, ask your parents, and then go together," she said.

    Even if kids are just going to their friend's house after school, they need to be in the habit of asking their parents for permission, she said.

    John Durant of Child Find Ontario suggested that one should teach their child a secret code word. If an adult approaches the child, asks them to leave with them but doesn't know the code, the child knows to get away.

    "That child ... should immediately go back to where they came from and inform somebody," he said, adding they should also know how to dial 911.

    Parents can also help their children by showing them houses in the neighbourhood where they know the people can be trusted. Wilson is less enamored of the Block Parent program.

    A good age to start the discussion is whenever children start to understand language -- but keep it age-appropriate, Wilson said.

    "When we did try, especially with my oldest daughter, she got a little scared and started to cry," Lisa Fariah, a mother of four, told CTV Toronto as she was out for a walk in the Beaches with her brood. "But you do have to warn them."

    Instincts, confidence

    However, parents should also allow kids to trust their own instincts and not push them into the company of adults they don't like. "Kids are born with a fantastic 'clean' instinct," she said.

    Another key concept is to not scare your children witless, she said.

    "Usually a complete stranger is so rare that it's the last thing the police look at when they're investigating these cases," Wilson said.

    Using scare tactics as a way to frighten children into obeying when a case such as Provencher's or Stafford's occurs is counterproductive.

    "It makes those children afraid, and a scared, frightened child is a beautiful target," Wilson said.

    "A child who is confident, who knows the rules and who has been told that it's okay to say no to adults -- that's a much safer child. So resist the desire to scare your kids into doing what you think is right, because you're just not doing them any good at all."

    With a report from CTV Toronto's John Musselman and files from The Canadian Press


    Man Accused Of Exposing Himself Inside A Public School

    2009/10/29 | CityNews.ca Staff Bookmark and Share

    Police have arrested a man they allege exposed himself inside a Toronto public school.

    The disturbing incident happened Wednesday. Authorities said a 12-year-old student told a teacher she had spotted a stranger in the hallway at Hodgson Senior Public School at 282 Davisville Ave.  When staff went to investigate they allegedly found the man exposing himself.

    Jason Ledo, 31, is facing charges including, mischief, committing an indecent act and cause disturbance.

    He was scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

    Detectives want to hear from anyone with information on this case. If you can help call Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS.

    Kimberly Ruth Noyes was taken into custody by RCMP in Grand Forks, B.C. in connection with the murder of 12-year-old John Fulton on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 (RCMP)

    Kimberly Ruth Noyes was taken into custody by RCMP in Grand Forks, B.C. in connection with the murder of 12-year-old John Fulton on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 (RCMP)

    John Fulton was last seen on the steps of his Grand Forks, B.C., home August 15, 2009.

    John Fulton was last seen on the steps of his Grand Forks, B.C., home August 15, 2009.

    RCMP charge neighbour with murder of 12-year-old

    Updated Wed. Aug. 19 2009 9:52 PM ET

    The Canadian Press

    GRAND FORKS, B.C. -- In a small subsidized rental complex, an impromptu memorial outside the home of a slain 12-year-old boy sits just a few doors down from an identical townhouse that is surrounded by police tape, the place where his body was found.

    Even 48 hours after the gruesome discovery of John Fulton's remains, the image still whipsaws the emotions, says Teresa Taylor, a resident of the 25-unit complex called The Gables.

    "You kind of go through these waves where you kind of feel like you're all together and the next thing you know you're breaking down into tears," Taylor said Wednesday.

    "It's one thing to look out the door and see the vigil right in front of the house. We've got candles and teddy bears there and stuff. "

    "Then two doors down, the police tape. That part of it is quite difficult."

    Fulton vanished from the steps of his home Saturday evening. An intensive search for the friendly, autistic child was launched immediately.

    But on Monday police barged into a neighbour's empty home where they said they found his body.

    Kimberley Noyes was arrested Tuesday afternoon after someone spotted her on a Grand Forks street.

    Wednesday, the RCMP announced Noyes has been charged with second degree murder. She appeared before a justice of the peace, via teleconference, Wednesday afternoon.

    Noyes's next court appearance is scheduled for August 20.

    Fulton's family remains in seclusion away from the house, where steps away police were still dusting for fingerprints at the Noyes home Wednesday.

    "It would be tough enough to come home to your house with all your child's belongings there," said Taylor.

    "But to come home to your house and have the crime scene still up and operating, I can see why they're staying away."

    The family did not show up at either of the two vigils residents held Tuesday evening -- a small one at 8 p.m., precisely 72 hours after he disappeared, and a larger one at 10 p.m. that drew 100 people from this town of 4,000 on the Canada-U.S. border.

    The family issued a statement late Tuesday thanking police and search volunteers but also questioning how the RCMP handled the boy's disappearance, including the lack of an Amber Alert.

    "We do not know if this could have saved Johnny's life, nor do we wish to speculate," the statement says.

    "However, we feel strongly that any child with autism should automatically qualify as an Amber Alert."

    Autistic people have trouble communicating and difficulty with normal social interactions, the statement says. They also tend to repeat specific behaviour patterns.

    "Our family knew there was no way John could have run away, because his autism would not have allowed him to go out of his comfort zone," it says.

    "We do understand why an Amber Alert cannot be issued every time a preteen is missing for a few hours, however Johnny was not a typical preteen."

    Even if it had not issued an Amber Alert, the RCMP should not have waited 20 hours to bring in search and rescue teams, the statement says.

    The RCMP defended their response to Fulton's disappearance.

    Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said police began a ground search with dogs and aircraft Saturday night as soon as the boy was reported missing, and added search-and-rescue personnel on Sunday.

    "Normally we do not do a lot of night searches but in this case (we did) both nights," he said.

    "Saturday night, it went on till 5 a.m. with our resources, then again the next day and again well into the night with search and rescue the next day."

    Moskaluk added posters about Fulton were being distributed Sunday within 12 hours of his disappearance.

    The RCMP don't begrudge the family's statement, Moskaluk said.

    "It's part and parcel of it (the tragedy) and we don't criticize them for that and fully support them through this," he said.

    Meanwhile, neighbours at The Gables were trying to understand what may have happened.

    There appear to be two images of Noyes, a 42-year-old mother of three children, none of whom were living with her at the time.

    Taylor said some neighbours now say they witnessed outbursts.

    She said one of her neighbours, a longtime friend of Noyes' even before she moved into The Gables a year ago, had broken off their relationship.

    "They hung out together and their kids played together, that sort of thing," said Taylor.

    "She had a few things happen and stopped interacting with her much."

    But Kevin Thiessen, a designer at Boundary Truss, where Noyes worked for most of the last six years until quitting in mid-June, said Noyes was a quiet, nice person.

    "She was a book-keeper so she didn't really deal with customers a lot," he said. "She was friendly to all of us."

    The RCMP have said Noyes has bipolar disorder.

    Taylor said neighbours found her depressed and despondent, possibly because of her divorce and losing custody of two of her children.

    Taylor said she understands Noyes also had a grown daughter now living in Texas.

    Neighbours described Fulton as a happy, upbeat kid who enjoyed playing with the other children in the complex. He was looking forward to entering Grade 8 in the fall.

    Grand Forks is about 600 kilometres east of Vancouver, just north of the Washington State border.


    Victoria (Tori) Stafford, 8, of Woodstock, Ont., has not been seen since Wednesday, April 8, 2009.

    Victoria (Tori) Stafford, 8, of Woodstock, Ont., went missing on Wednesday, April 8, 2009.

    John Fulton was last seen on the steps of his Grand Forks, B.C., home August 15, 2009.

    John Fulton was last seen on the steps of his Grand Forks, B.C., home August 15, 2009.

    Changes coming to Ont.'s Amber Alert system

    Updated Thu. Aug. 20 2009 12:28 PM ET

    CTV.ca News Staff

    Changes are expected to be announced to Ontario's Amber Alert system as a result of criticism into how police handled the Tori Stafford case in Woodstock.


    Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Dave Rektor made the announcement Thursday in London, Ont. He wouldn't provide details, but said the changes come under the direction of OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino and that they will be outlined in the fall.


    Stafford disappeared April 8, minutes after leaving her elementary school. An Amber Alert was not posted immediately because police said her case failed to meet the criteria for issuing one. Critics have since leveled questions at authorities about the efficacy and purpose of the alert system. Stafford's remains were found in July near Mount Forest, about 95 kilometres north of Woodstock.


    Terri Lynn McClintic, 19, and Michael Rafferty, 28, have both been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping.


    The criteria for police issuing an Amber Alert is as follows:


    • Police have confirmed an abduction of a victim under 18
    • It's believed the victim is in danger of serious bodily injury or death.
    • The general public can assist in the safe recovery of the victim - due to the availability of a description of the suspect, the suspect's vehicle, and licence plate number.


    In an interview with A-Channel London, Rektor said under Fantino's direction, the OPP are working on making the "wording and criteria" for issuing Amber Alerts easier to understand and implement.


    He said the alert program was revisited in June, "to see if there's anything we can do to enhance it or modify it in any way, shape or form -- to bring it up to today's standards and needs, to serve police agencies across the province."


    "After the Tori Stafford abduction had taken place, there were some questions brought forward," Rektor told A-Channel, "and our commissioner determined at that time that it was appropriate to review it and to make sure everything was working properly."


    Meanwhile, in B.C., parents are asking why an Amber Alert was not issued when 12-year-old John Fulton went missing. The boy, who had autism spectrum disorder, was taken from his front porch and allegedly murdered by a neighbour.


    The RCMP said in Fulton's case, there was no evidence to indicate at the time that an abduction had occurred. "Utilization of Amber Alert was examined," RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk told CTV British Columbia, but it was "confirmed that it was not applicable -- because we didn't have the information to disseminate" to the public."

    Richard Doucet, a 36-year-old teacher, was arrested in Fredericksburg, Va.

    Richard Doucet, a 36-year-old teacher, was arrested in Fredericksburg, Va.

    Montreal teacher faces 230 child porn charges in U.S.

    Updated Fri. Sep. 5 2008 4:06 PM ET

    The Canadian Press

    MONTREAL -- A Montreal teacher charged in the U.S. for allegedly soliciting sex from a 13-year-old boy is facing more than 200 new counts related to child pornography.

    Richard Doucet, an elementary teacher at the elite Selwyn House private school, was arrested in May at a motel in Fredericksburg, Va.

    The new accusations stem from images found on a compact disc that was seized by police from a motel room.

    Det. John Chapman of Dumfries, Va., police said the 36-year-old has been indicted on 230 counts of possessing and reproducing child pornography.

    Chapman said each felony carries a five-year mandatory prison sentence, which means Doucet could be sentenced to more than 1,000 years in jail if convicted on all counts.

    "Down here in Virginia they take that very seriously," Chapman told The Canadian Press on Friday.

    "Virginians are conservative people and they want to protect their kids. It's all about putting these guys away."

    Chapman, who posed online as a 13-year-old boy, nabbed the mathematics and English teacher at a motel southwest of Washington D.C.

    The detective alleges he had several sexually explicit Internet conversations with Doucet between December and May.

    Doucet, who is married but has no children, had already been charged with several counts of attempting to take indecent liberties with a child and using electronic devices to solicit a child.

    Police said Doucet allegedly arranged the meeting on his return from an education conference in Atlanta.

    Chapman said he doesn't expect Virginia police to add more accusations against Doucet, who is incarcerated at Rappahannock Regional Jail.

    In the coming weeks, Doucet is expected back in court where he will enter a plea, the veteran police officer said.

    "If he pleads not guilty the prosecutor's office will ask for a jury trial, and wherever the chips fall is what he gets," Chapman said.

    Selwyn House headmaster William Mitchell has said a routine background check on Doucet when he was hired in 1999 did not reveal a criminal record.

    Mitchell has described Doucet as a "well-liked" teacher and a "valued colleague."



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    The Tori Stafford Case: Twists, Turns, Tears And An Arrest

    The Tori Stafford Case: Twists, Turns, Tears And An Arrest

    Wednesday May 20, 2009

    It has been a long and very strange case, filled with twists, turns, emotions and even bickering divorced parents.

    Since the day eight-year-old Victoria Stafford disappeared while on her way home from her Woodstock school, recriminations and suspicions about what may be behind her apparent kidnapping have run rampant.

    We may finally get our answers with the news of the arrest of two people in the case. Here's a look back at how this unusual story has unfolded. Click the dates to see the corresponding stories.

    April 8

    The day that changed the life of an entire town begins innocently, as little Victoria Stafford leaves school on her way home. She was supposed to be walked back by a family member who wasn't able to perform the chore that day. Instead, not far from where she left class, the little girl is met by a woman wearing a white puffy jacket. A distant security camera catches the mysterious figure as she gets the girl to go with her.

    It doesn't appear Tori is struggling and it looks like she goes with the person willingly, leading police to conclude it's likely she knew her apparent captor.

    It will continue to be both the best and the worst of clues for Oxford Community Police. It's the only video they have of what happened to the child, but it's so grainy and difficult to see that it provides few answers.

    It will soon be watched around the world, as the hunt for the missing child heats up.

    April 10

    As the second and third days dawn without their daughter, Victoria's divorced parents begin to fear the worst. "I would never wish this upon my worst enemy. It's living hell," reveals dad Rodney Stafford. "I was wary - maybe Victoria had just gone to one of her friend's - till the next morning when all the kids returned to school and nobody had heard from her. That's when I started to get really queasy and feared the worst."

    Despite a massive search, there's still no sign of the missing girl or the woman in white. Cops remain optimistic she's alive and will be found.

    April 10

    Woodstock begins mobilizing in earnest, as hundreds of volunteers turn out to search for Tori. Among them: a 17-year-old co-op student, who was among the last to see the child as she left school for the day. "I just want to see her in class Tuesday so I can give her a hug," Sara Oliver explains. Some beat the bushes around town. Others put up missing posters. But all feel the same fear as everyone else. Who took the child and why? In a small town, everyone also wonders: is it someone I know?

    April 12

    The first of what will be several candlelight vigils is held for Tori, as Woodstock lets the absent child and her family know they haven't forgotten and won't stop until she's home.

    April 13

    The ground search is officially called off, after nothing turns up. But police vow they haven't given up their hunt for Tori.

    April 15

    In every missing child case, especially when there's a history of acrimony among the parents, the mom and dad come under scrutiny. To remove any doubt, both take lie detector tests. The pair has been separated for about six years.

    April 16

    The signs of strain continue to build for Tori's family, who complain police are refusing to treat the case as an abduction. The girl's mother, Tara McDonald, is holding daily press conferences to keep the story alive and fresh in the mind of the public. "That does frustrate me that it's not being called an abduction," she asserts. "It is an abduction, somebody obviously grabbed my child that doesn't belong to my family, that I don't know, that her dad doesn't know, so it is an abduction."

    April 17

    Police respond to the family's anger, labelling the case an abduction for the first time. Oxford Community Police have been reluctant to use the term, because the child appears to have willingly gone along with her kidnapper. The force also requests help from the OPP, which will add to the resources to aid in the hunt.

    April 17

    The first non-family criticism of local police seeps into the case, after a former Toronto Police officer involved in the Holly Jones search wonders why the Oxford force waited so long to call the crime an abduction and didn't immediately issue an Amber Alert. His implied criticism is tempered because he knows the force is working with limited resources.

    Local cops respond Amber Alerts are usually only called when there's reason to believe a youngster is in imminent danger and there is specific information about a suspect. They had no such information in this case.

    April 18

    The search for Tori increases, ten days after she was last seen. Because of their size, Oxford Community Police have now brought in the OPP to help in the cause. Teams go door-to-door that weekend, while a local Under Water Search and Recovery Unit begins scouring waterways in Woodstock using sonar to pick up items at the bottom of lakes and rivers.

    The public holds a Walk For Tori at a local school, hoping the girl will be found and brought home soon.

    April 19

    After seeing the same static picture of the missing girl for more than a week, the family releases home video of Tori on a recent vacation out west. They're hoping the way she walks or talks will trigger some memory in a witness.

    April 20

    More than 1,000 tips pour in about Tori and the mysterious woman in white. Police remain tight lipped about the progress of their investigation, saying only they believe the girl is still alive. They begin searching a dumpsite close to Woodstock but apparently find nothing.

    April 21

    As the two week anniversary of the disappearance approaches, cops search a local landfill, sifting through the equivalent of 200 garbage trucks for clues. A nearby conservation area is also scoured.

    April 22

    A big break in the case appears near, as police finally release a composite sketch of the mysterious woman in white seen leading Tori away on April 8. It was made with the help of a new witness.

    April 23

    A frustrated and exhausted Tara McDonald lashes out at those who think the newly released sketch resembles her, continuing to insist she had nothing to do with Tori's disappearance. "Quit pointing a finger at me, quit pointing fingers at everybody else, until there's somebody that we can point a finger at," she chides. The parents say they've tried to imagine who the composite looks like, but can't come up with any names.

    April 25

    After being featured on the America's Most Wanted website for several weeks, a very brief mention is made of Tori on the show itself. Her parents hope it will further generate publicity and new leads in the already high profile case.

    April 27

    The already bizarre case takes a decided turn for the strange again, after Tara McDonald reveals exclusively to CityNews that she was taken for a limo ride to Toronto by a rich stranger who also suffered the loss of an abducted child. The person offers to pay a $50,000 reward for the return of the little girl.

    April 28

    The bizarre nature of the reward offer causes McDonald to bristle, when asked about the unusual circumstances. "It was an anonymous person," she insists.  "I have shown (CityNews reporter Cynthia Mulligan) and she's listened to the message and seen the picture of us in the limo so people don't think we are crazy and made everything up."

    April 29

    The third week of Tori's absence is taking a toll on Tara McDonald, who is trying to keep a brave face. But the strain is telling. "It's worse than day one, but I mean, it's getting more frustrating," she admits. As for those persistent stories that the composite looks like the mom? "Woodstock is full of rumours and stories and crap, to be quite honest with you," she replies.

    May 2

    As searchers look through brush and bogs surrounding Woodstock, the town shows it hasn't forgotten the girl who has become everyone's daughter. A charity motorcycle ride is held in her honour, raising funds and new awareness.

    May 4

    The first new clue in weeks surfaces, as police release an enhanced video of a blue sedan seen in the area at the moment of the now famous grainy security shot. Cops don't think it has anything to do with the abduction itself but say the person or persons inside that vehicle could have valuable information about where Tori went and who took her.

    May 5

    As cops await tips on the car, Rodney Stafford emerges with a new plea. "To the persons responsible for Victoria's disappearance: Victoria's just a little girl, a little girl with hopes, hopes and dreams of being a child. I am begging you not to take that away from her. Please let her go!" There is no response from the abductors.

    May 7

    Tara McDonald admits police had previously seized her computer but explains they were looking to see if Tori might have been in touch with someone over the web.

    May 8

    On the one month anniversary of the kidnapping, McDonald admits she hasn't completely been ruled out as a suspect. She continues to deny any involvement, insisting she just wants her daughter to come home. "I mean, like I said if something was wrong then I'm sure I wouldn't be standing here right now. I'm being treated by the public and by Facebook, like I can't even believe the insensitivity of people. It blows my mind."

    May 19

    As the stress of the case reaches a breaking point, the already divided parents get into a public row before the press. McDonald gives her ex-husband the finger and stomps angrily into her house, while Rodney Stafford accuses of her running away again.

    It follows McDonald's admission that she had once been addicted to drugs, a fact she maintains has nothing to do with Tori's case. Both later apologize for their sharp words and say the focus should be on finding Victoria - not on their fractured relationship.

    The upset mom also reveals police have officially ruled her out as a suspect, after comparing her weight and height with the woman in the video.

    May 20

    A stunning twist in the case as police announce the arrest of two people. One, 28-year-old Michael Thomas Rafferty, is charged with murder. The other, his 18-year-old companion, Terri-Lynne McClintic, is accused of being an accessory. The hunt for Tori's body takes police to Guelph as a depressing realization descends on Woodstock that the little girl is never coming home.


    Porn Trial Suspended After Similar Material Found On Presiding Judge's Website

    Porn Trial Suspended After Similar Material Found On Presiding Judge's Website

    Thursday June 12, 2008

    Judge Alex Kozinski (left) is used to hearing the stories of accused suspects. But now it's the jurist himself who's in the public spotlight. The reason? The chief judge of the U.S.'s largest federal appeals court was hearing the case of a man accused of selling movies featuring bestiality and other extreme fetishes, when a revelation about him stopped the trial cold.

    It turns out the judge has his own website - and it features some of the kinds of clips that the man before him is accused of spreading. Reports surfaced that Kozinki's slice of web heaven offered a video of a man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal.

    The jurist explains he was under the impression the more sensitive parts of his site weren't available for the public to see.

    He was wrong.

    "Is it prurient? I don't know what to tell you," the 57-year-old told the Los Angeles Times about the content. "I think it's odd and interesting. It's part of life."

    The news has forced the judge to suspend the trial, giving lawyers for the suspect a chance to argue he should recuse himself.

    It's a bizarre comedown for a man who's known to be an excellent jurist and a respected legal scholar. But Kozinski's sometimes forceful and strange quirks are well known. He once won the girl on the "Dating Game" in 1968, after greeting the contestant from behind a screen with the phrase, "good afternoon, flower of my heart."

    He writes video game reviews for the Wall Street Journal.

    And he recently disabled a firewall in a courtroom that was designed to block porn on government computers, just to make a point about freedom.

    He works 80 hours a week and fires off emails to law clerks at 3 in the morning.

    A spokesperson for the maverick judge claims most of what was posted on his site was for family use only and his son insists he put up some of the material. But it appears the computer expert-jurist somehow accidentally made the more secret sections public while trying to upload something else.

    The site had a message discouraging visitors, with a warning reading "Ain't nothin' here. Y'all best be movin' on, compadre." It's believed several other items - including a picture of nude women on all fours painted to look like cows, have been deleted and access to the site itself has since been blocked.

    So far the judge has refused to comment publicly about the embarrassing revelations. "I'm not going to say anything," is all he'll offer. "The trial is ongoing."

    But maybe not for much longer.

    Photo credit: Paul Sakuma-Pool/Getty Images


    18-Year-Old Charged With Sexually Assaulting Youngster Will Remain In CustodyWatchVideo News DirectorWatch

    18-Year-Old Charged With Sexually Assaulting Youngster Will Remain In Custody

    Wednesday November 19, 2008

    A man from Everett, Ont. was in court Wednesday, charged in the horrific sexual assault of a young boy.

    Eighteen-year-old Lucas Petrini was ordered to remain in custody until a bail hearing on December 10th.  He is in protective custody.

    "When you're charged with a criminal offence, obviously there's surprise, shock, disbelief. These are normal emotions to have.  Especially with these types of allegations, those emotions are only amplified," noted lawyer for the accused, Harpreet Saini, who added that his client plans to stand trial.

    According to police the nine-year-old was kidnapped at knifepoint on his way to school in Brampton Monday morning. His attacker managed to get the boy into a nearby home where investigators say he was repeatedly sexually assaulted over a six hour period.

    The boy was set free in the woods behind his school and ran home, telling his parents what occurred.

    Not long after, police arrested Petrini, who now faces a number of charges including threatening to kill his alleged victim, kidnapping, possession of a weapon, and sexual assault.

    He had apparently only recently moved to the area.

    "People are all curious. Everyone wants to know who he is but nobody seems to know...it's a nice community. It's the country, and that's a pretty horrific crime," said area resident Kathy Brett.

    Peel Regional Police officers aren't revealing much information in the case in order to protect the victim's identity.

    School officials notified police after it became obvious the boy hadn't shown up for class the day he was abducted.

    Parents in the area knew something was amiss when they spotted police searching in the woods behind the school.

    "Investigators from the Special Victim Unit were involved immediately regarding a nine-year-old boy who had not shown up for school and was reported missing," confirmed P.C. Wayne Patterson.

    Jennifer knows the little boy who police say was kidnapped and assaulted.

    "It's disturbing. It's scary, you know," she said.  "Keep your kids close. I don't know. I don't know what to say other than it's horrible."

    Peel Police - Streetproofing Tips for Parents and Caregivers

    • Know who your children play with, where they go and what routes they take.
    • Do not leave your child in unsupervised locations, such as cars, parks, public washrooms, arenas, malls, and plazas.
    • Tell your children never to go anywhere with a stranger, take anything from a stranger, or talk to a stranger, unless they require help from a "safe" stranger. (police officer, firefighter, paramedic.)
    • Teach your child how and where to get help. In the event that they become separated from you or lost, tell them to seek help from a "safe" stranger, or find a public telephone and dial 9-1-1.
    • Develop a "what if" game for kids to get them thinking of how they would respond if they felt threatened.
    • Your child's body is private. Tell your child that no one may touch the area their bathing suit covers. If someone does or tries to touch them, they should advise you immediately.
    • Make up an emergency kit for your child. It should include information such as, emergency numbers, your number at work, medical information, and quarters for a pay phone. 
    • Teach your child to talk to you immediately when someone does anything that makes them uncomfortable. Listen when your children are trying to tell you about something that bothers them and provide them with support and understanding.

    Other tips:

    • Go with your child to the bus stop and meet them when they return from school.
    • Assist your child in setting up a buddy system instead of walking alone. Children should walk in groups of at least two.
    • Try to have it pre-arranged that if an emergency happens, a specific person your child already knows will pick them up.
    • Make sure the school has a list of people your child can be released to. This also applies to day camp, swimming lessons, and other activities.
    • Avoid having your child's name visible on his or her clothing, lunch boxes, and other belongings, as it advertises to everyone who they are. A stranger may read their name and call out to them, fooling your child into believing this person knows them.
    • Keep an up-to-date photograph, and other detailed information about your child on file at home, such as height, weight, scars and other specifics. Many police agencies have child identification kits available for this purpose, free of charge.
    • If you child becomes separated or you think they may be lost, DON'T panic. If you are in a store or mall, go to the nearest courtesy desk or ask for security. If you are at home, call their friends and notify police.
    • Watch for changes in your child's behaviour as it could indicate something is wrong: hesitation to go with certain people, loss of appetite, withdrawal, or aggressiveness.

    Would You Let Your Child Walk To School Alone? Video News DirectorWatch

    Would You Let Your Child Walk To School Alone?

    Wednesday November 19, 2008

    Things have changed since you were a kid. And after what happened in the GTA this week, you can conclude that most of it hasn't been for the better.

    After an 18-year-old was charged with abducting and sexually assaulting a 9-year-old boy in Brampton, parents are understandably on edge.

    Where we used to walk to school with little more care than whether our homework assignments were done, kids today often seem to be confronted with peril at every turn in what used to be the safety of their own neighbourhood.

    All of which begs the question: do you let your child walk to or from school anymore?

    The long line of cars waiting for the final bell outside public schools across the GTA seems to testify that the answer is 'no' for a growing number of moms and dads. But critics contend overprotective parents may be exactly what their kids don't need.

    So should you let your children wend their way to class without you?

    Experts say they should be able to walk - but not by themselves.

    "It is important that the child not be walking to school alone," warns Trish Derby of Child Find Ontario. "We recommend to kids and parents that no matter where they're going that they're not doing it alone. That there is safety in numbers. You know, they should at least have a buddy who can walk to school with them."

    What about parents walking their kids to class? Derby is less sure that's a long term strategy. She suggests a lot depends on the child, the age and the judgment of the parents.

    "There isn't a magic number," she concedes. "Parents know their own kids ... Depending on their level of maturity ... We recommend high school kids at least have somebody else with them when they're walking to school."

    What do parents think? Many believe it's better to be safe than sorry.

    "I live near one of my son's schools and I would not let him walk to school alone," maintains a mom named Cordelia. "These perpetrators, pedophiles, they're devious people who really know how to lie very, very well ... The streets across Canada I do not believe are very safe. Not like they used to be when I was nine or ten."

    As for kids who resent their parents "mother henning" them?

    "I have a 12-year-old daughter that if she is not driven to school, I walk her," responds Kelly. "She doesn't like it, but that's too bad. I know she gets to school safe and I know she gets home safe."

    Here are some tips for you and your kids about walking to school in these uncertain times.

    -Use the buddy system: two or three kids together will discourage any predators.

    -Street proof them: that old adage about not talking to strangers still contains words to live by.

    -Know your neighbours: Show your kids safe places along their route they can run to if they need to find an adult they can trust.

    -Know the route: Go over it as often as it takes with youngsters so they know exactly where they're supposed to go. Point out familiar buildings or landmarks, so they know the terrain.

    Other tips from Child Find Ontario:

    -Teach your children to trust their feelings, and that they have the right to say "NO", even to an adult.

    -Keep your child's fingerprints, a current physical description and a full face photograph (like their school photograph) in a safe, accessible place.

    -Teach your children their last name, phone number, address, and where you work.

    -Teach your children how to dial the Operator "O" or 911 and what to say.

    -Never leave children under the age of 12 unattended at home.

    -Know where your child is, and let them know where you are, so they learn by example.

    -Have a list of the first and last names, phone numbers and addresses of your children's friends. Get to know their friends and be part of their activities.

    -Don't put your child's first name on clothing, knapsacks, bicycles or toys.

    -Listen when your children tell you that they don't want to be with someone, and find out why.

    -Be alert to an adult or teenager paying too much attention to your child.

    -Tell your children that if anything ever happens to them or you, you will look for them until you find them, no matter what.

    -You should have a secret code word with your children that only you and they know. If someone tells your children that they were asked by you to pick up the children, explain they are not to go unless the person gives them the correct code word.

    Dad Accused Of Holding Daughter In Dungeon For 24 Yrs. Now Facing Murder Charge

    Thursday November 13, 2008

    He's accused of imprisoning his own daughter in a windowless dungeon for 24 years and fathering seven children by her. But now the suspect in one of the most bizarre criminal cases in history is facing a new accusation - murder.

    You likely remember the story of Joseph Fritzl (top left). He's the dad from Amstetten, Austria accused of abducting his daughter Elizabeth when she just 18, secreting her in a specially built series of rooms under his home and leaving her and most of the subsequent kids who were born there captive for their entire lives.

    Fritzl had allegedly told his family the girl ran off to be with a religious cult. The ordeal ended last April, when one of the youngsters - now a teenager - became seriously ill and had to be taken to hospital.

    Three of the kids were taken upstairs to live with the man assumed to be their father, with Fritzl telling curious relatives that Elizabeth had left them on his doorstep and then disappeared.

    Three others lived with their mother in those rooms of glooms since their birth.

    It's what happened to the seventh that has brought the latest charge. Fritzl has admitted one of the youngsters died when he was just a baby and that he disposed of the body in a furnace. Prosecutors are trying to make the case that if the infant had received treatment, he might have lived, justifying the murder count.

    "Despite recognizing the baby's life-threatening situation, he deliberately decided not to intervene" and get a doctor, the 27-page indictment reads.

    As it is, the imprisoned 73-year-old electrician is already facing rape, incest, false imprisonment and slavery accusations. He has 14 days to appeal the charges.

    Fritzl has been found fit to stand trial, with a sensational court case set to begin in early 2009.

    Elizabeth, now 42, and her children, have been taken to a care facility for counselling and reintegration to society, a world they never knew and may have trouble relating to.

    Previous stories:

    Girl awakens from coma

    "I am not a monster": accused dad 

    Daughter may sue father

    New questions emerge in case

    Family reunited for first time

    Accused father was 'tyrant' at home

    Prosecutors question daughter

    Daughter breaks silence

    Family issues statement


    How Can You Tell If A Pedophile Is Targeting Your Child?

    How Can You Tell If A Pedophile Is Targeting Your Child?

    Tuesday October 16, 2007

    With the world on a hunt for a suspected pedophile, parents can't be blamed if they hold their kids just a little bit tighter and reiterate all the rules they need to know about going out on the Internet and not talking to strangers in the virtual or non-virtual world. But kids are secretive and sometimes afraid to tell their parents the truth about what's going on.

    So how can you tell if your child may have been approached by a predator - or worse? Here are some signs of behaviour to watch for that could indicate a problem with your youngster.

    -Look for changes in behaviour, including mood swings, unexplained fear, withdrawal and excessive crying, aggression or reverting to more babyish antics.

    -Watch for inappropriate sexual activity or a sudden interest in sex where none existed before.

    -New habits emerge like bedwetting or problems sleeping.

    -If problems at school suddenly appear out of nowhere, inquire about the source.

    -Be wary if your child suddenly expresses fear of going to certain places or meeting certain people that he or she never expressed before.

    -Look for telltale signs on their body, including unexplained bruises or sores or other marks that have appeared without warning or any apparent cause. 

    -Remember to tell your child they can always confide in you about anything. When they do, be supportive and always tell them you believe them.

    Pedophile profile

    Safety information for parents, teens and little kids

    11 tips for keeping your kids safe online.

    Checklist for parents (.pdf file)

    Checklist for kids



    safety awareness informationto protect your children

    Jail Ont. invests $21.5M to manage high-risk offenders

    Updated Thu. Aug. 16 2007 1:35 PM ET

    Canadian Press

    The provincial Liberals continued their anti-crime spending spree today with a promise to invest $21.5 million over five years to deal with high-risk offenders.

    Premier Dalton McGuinty made the announcement today during a speech to the Police Association of Ontario.

    McGuinty says the province will create six specialized regional teams to enhance the prosecution and management of dangerous and long-term offenders.

    Some 20 staff will be assigned to the teams, including eight prosecutors as well as victims' services workers.

    McGuinty says six of the 200 new police officers announced previously will be assigned to monitor offenders after their release from custody, while nine new officers will gather intelligence inside corrections facilities.

    Earlier this week, McGuinty announced $2 million for a provincial police surveillance plane to watch for dangerous drivers.


    MySpace finds 29,000 registered sex offenders

    Updated Tue. Jul. 24 2007 3:23 PM ET

    Associated Press

    RALEIGH, N.C. -- MySpace.com has found more than 29,000 registered sex offenders with profiles on the popular social networking website -- more than four times the number cited by the company two months ago, North Carolina officials said Tuesday.

    North Carolina's Roy Cooper is one of several attorneys general who recently demanded the News Corp.-owned Web site provide data on how many registered sex offenders were using the site, along with information about where they live.

    After initially withholding the information, citing federal privacy laws, MySpace began sharing the information in May after the states filed formal legal requests.

    At the time, MySpace said it had already used a database it helped create to remove about 7,000 profiles of sex offenders, out of a total of about 180 million profiles on the site.

    Two MySpace spokeswomen did not immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

    Cooper is pushing for legislation that would require children to receive parental permission before creating social networking profiles, and require the Web sites to enact procedures for verifying the parents' identity and age.


    New book hails police battle against online child sex abuse

    Canadian Press

    TORONTO — He's written extensively on biker gangs, police corruption and wrongful conviction cases, and reported from violence-plagued regions in Baghdad, Somalia and South Africa.

    But Montreal-based investigative journalist Julian Sher says his latest project, a book about online child sex abuse, was “by far the most unsettling.”

    “I was shocked, and I want to shock people, into knowing that 40 per cent of the pictures that are being seized now are children under five, and 20 per cent are children under three,” Mr. Sher said in an interview to promote “One Child at a Time.”

    “So it has nothing to do with sex, it has nothing to do with pornography. This is outright torture, rape and abuse of children so I wasn't prepared for that and I don't think most readers are. I wasn't prepared for how widespread it was, you know, how easy it was to access.”

    “One Child at a Time” can be a tough read for some, admits Mr. Sher, as it outlines true cases of horrific child sex abuse and exploitation through videos and images on the Internet, including cases involving infants. It doesn't get graphic, though, and it provides a fascinating insight into how professional crime fighters, including those in Canada, track down suspects and rescue victims.

    In the early 1990s, agencies and police units in Canada, the United States and the U.K. struggled to cope with the crimes, writes Mr. Sher, due to miscommunication, overwhelming amounts of evidence, and a lack of resources, technical sophistication and manpower.

    Now, they're able to infiltrate online pedophile groups, hack their software programs, scour global databases and trace the tiniest of clues in pictures.

    “This is real ‘CSI,”' said Mr. Sher. “This is real Canadian cops and American cops looking at images, finding the smallest clue in a little book in the background, a little telephone book, a necklace or a bracelet, digging into the pictures, finding out the smallest clue that will lead to the rescue of children or the trapping of these predators.”

    Mr. Sher started writing the book in 2004 and decided fairly early on that it would be more an homage to the heroes, the detectives who venture outside their comfort zones to understand how the predators' networks work. Among the champions mentioned frequently in the book is Paul Gillespie, former head of the Toronto police Child Exploitation unit.

    Mr. Sher, too, went outside his comfort zone in writing the book when he viewed some “disturbing images” at police stations.

    He didn't download or look at child pornography, though, “1. because it's a crime, 2. because I'm just re-victimizing the children, even if I'm studying the picture,” said Mr. Sher, who now wants to do a follow-up book on child sex tourism.

    The true crime writer also met with child predators and read some of their material but didn't delve too deeply into their world because, as he puts it, “you don't have to sniff cocaine to understand a drug cartel.”

    In all his research, Mr. Sher discovered that 70 to 80 per cent of the victims are known to their predators. In one case cited in the book, online pedophiles were swapping pictures of a young girl being sexually abused and held in a cage. It turned out the abuser was her father, who let her play outside and go to school every day, and nobody in the neighbourhood had a clue.

    “These are not strangers ... these are doctors, lawyers, politicians and they're committing a crime on the Internet that's in everybody's home,” said Mr. Sher, adding whatever definition you have of an online predator is wrong.

    Mr. Sher thinks the book is “fairly uplifting” because it shows that “police are actually turning it around, you know, the police are using the same technology that the predators have been using, against them.”

    He said we need to look at the Internet as a playground and neighbourhood where, “if you see a series of muggings you don't go out and shut down the park, you just put up more lights and get authorities involved,” he said.

    But as with any growing threat, there's still more work to be done.

    In Canada, where Mr. Sher believes police are doing the most path-breaking cyber predator work on the globe, there's an “appalling blindness” and “severe misunderstanding” about the issue on the part of some judges, he said.

    As well, convicted sex offenders who have been released from jail in this country are not obliged to notify authorities if they're travelling abroad for less than 14 days — something Mr. Sher would like to see changed.

    Mr. Sher also wants to see an RCMP image database for crime cases involving cyber predators.

    And for all the work the crime fighters are doing, they'll never completely win the technological war, said Mr. Sher, because the predators are resourceful, resilient, they can hide easily online, there are more of them than there are police — and they never retire.

    “Even in the Toronto porn squad, the lead detective, two of the other senior detectives have left the squad just because that's what police do — they move on, they get promotions, they retire,” said Mr. Sher, who has two children in university.

    “Predators don't retire, predators don't get promotions and transfer to another crime, police do.”

    Mr. Sher hopes parents will read the book so they'll “stop fooling themselves about what their children could be exposed to on the Internet” and start street-proofing their kids online.

    He'd also like older teenagers to read the book because, as he discovered, 10 per cent of child porn images that are being found now in the U.S. are self-produced, mostly by teenaged girls.

    Key law enforcement figures cited in the book recently asked Mr. Sher to sign copies for their children who can't read yet “so that when they grow older they'll know what their fathers did to rescue other children.”

    Child predators should also read it, said Mr. Sher, because “they should be told that they're not invincible, that they are being taken down,” and so that they might seek help.

    Toronto Neighbourhood Remembers Holly JonesWatchVideo News DirectorWatch

    Toronto Neighbourhood Remembers Holly Jones

    Saturday May 12, 2007

    It was a hard day for those who knew Holly Jones and it was especially difficult for her mother Maria Jones. Holly was 10-years-old when she was abducted on Perth Ave. while walking home from a friend's house four years ago. Police eventually found her body on the shores of Lake Ontario. Friends and family gathered outside Holly's home on Saturday for the Annual Butterfly Walk, in memory of the little girl.

    Jones said she'll do whatever it takes to keep her daughter's memory alive. "We've lost our Holly, however I never want her spirit to die. So I'll do whatever I have to do to keep her spirit alive." She added that the pain of losing a child doesn't go away with time. "It's not possible for it to ever get easier."

    In 2004, Michael Briere, the man responsible for Holly's death, was charged with first-degree murder. He told the courts he assaulted her shortly after looking at child porn on his computer. Earlier this week, some of Holly's friends planted flowers at a memorial garden close to the street where she was snatched. Area resident and mother of two, Nathalie Mitongo, said its still scary raising children in the same neighbourhood where the kidnapping took place.

    Jones is planning another memorial walk in September to mark Holly's 15th birthday.

    The mother and her son walk into the 31 Division police station in Toronto following the incident.

    The mother and her son walk into the 31 Division police station in Toronto following the incident.

    Mother fights off man who grabbed her son


    A determined Toronto mother refused to let go when a man grabbed her son by the head and wrestled him away.

    The five-year-old boy had just been picked up by his mother from Jr. Kindergarten at St. Simon Catholic School near Weston Road and Hwy. 401. Suddenly, the man grabbed the little boy around the head and wrestled him from his mother's grip, threatening to kill him.

    Frantically, she managed to free her son and get him to safety.

    "Everything's okay, everything's fine," the mother said as she led her son into a police station. She added that they were shaken by the experience.

    School principal Flora Cifelli and another teacher followed the boy's assailant down the street until police arrived.

    "I just asked him ... very casually, 'where are you going,'" Cifelli said. "It's very scary. It's scary as a school administrator, it's scary as a mother, it's scary for anybody."

    Other parents at the school could not believe what had happened.

    "Just shocked that this would happen here because it's a very good school," one mother said.

    A 52-year-old man was arrested and taken to the 31 Division police station. He was charged with assault and threatening death.

    Police have not been able to confirm the identity of the suspect. They are expected to ask the courts for a psychiatric examination of the suspect.

    The young boy was not hurt in the incident.

    With a report from CTV's Jim Junkin

    Nina Courtepatte is shown in this undated handout photo.  (CP / HO)

    Nina Courtepatte is shown in this undated handout photo. (CP / HO

    One guilty, one acquitted in slaying of Alta. girl

    Updated Fri. Mar. 23 2007 4:12 PM ET

    CTV.ca News Staff

    A 21-year-old B.C. man was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for the rape and murder of a 13-year-old Edmonton girl while his co-accused was acquitted in her death.

    Joseph Laboucan, of Fort St. John, B.C., was found guilty by Justice Brian Burrows in Court of Queen's Bench for the first-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping of Nina Courtepatte.

    The judge acquitted Michael Briscoe, 36, of Edmonton, who had told police he was a pawn swept up in an elaborate plan that left the teenager dead on an Edmonton-area golf course.

    The packed crowd in the courtroom cheered upon hearing the judge's verdict come down against Laboucan. However, the acquittal left the courtroom in silence; the only sound being Briscoe's weeping.

    Laboucan claimed he had given up a life on the streets in favour of a more peaceful existence in a rural community.

    After the verdict, Laboucan maintained his innocence but apologized to the Courtepatte family for not saving their daughter.

    Briscoe did not testify during the trial but said in a statement to police that he was just the driver of the car and was there to keep his girlfriend out of trouble.

    The court heard during the trial that on April 3, 2005, Nina and a friend were picked up at the West Edmonton Mall on the promise that they would be taken to a party. Instead, the young girl was lured to a golf course where she was beaten to death on a muddy fourth-hole fairway.

    In his written decision, Burrows found Laboucan's testimony, "radically inconsistent with the evidence of other witnesses who have no, or at least less, reason to be untruthful.''

    The trial transfixed the city and painted a picture of Edmonton's youth -- where teenagers were described as "mall rats" with little separating them from a life on the streets.

    Laboucan's lawyer said his client would not have fallen back into the life he had worked so hard to separate himself from. He tried to paint Laboucan as an out-of-towner who was being framed by the others involved.

    Laboucan testified he also thought he was going to a party.

    Four other youth were involved in the events of April 3 but can't be named because of their age. One youth pleaded guilty last December to first-degree murder.

    Laboucan faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without chance of parole for 25 years.

    With files from The Canadian Press

    An Easy Catch

    Updated Sat. Mar. 24 2007 6:48 PM ET

    Patti-Ann Finlay, Associate Producer, W-FIVE

    Over W-FIVE's 41 seasons, many difficult and challenging stories have been produced. It takes an intrepid and dedicated team to bring such stories to Canadians.

    When the idea to present a story about Internet sexual predators -- and to find them -- was first tabled more than a year ago at W-FIVE. Many of us wondered if -- and how -- it could be done.

    The statistics -- that one in four children are invited to meet for a sexual liaison by an adult on the Internet -- told us there was a story worth telling.

    After learning that a significant number of adults are seeking sexual relationships with under-age children, we were wholly committed to dedicate the months of time and resources needed to tell the story of how Internet predators operate and who they are.

    We had several key elements that had to happen first. We needed a house to set up our hidden cameras, operatives to go online as underage children, and proper training to make sure we were following the law. W-FIVE also consulted the Department of Justice about what the law says about Internet crimes and set up computer software to record and log all of the chat over five weeks. We also talked to police to see if they wished to participate. However they declined.

    Our first challenge was to find a house that would have space for our ten-person crew, recording equipment and seven hidden cameras. We also needed a house-owner who was sympathetic to our story idea. A very cooperative man who understood the gravity of the problem of Internet luring and wanted to help us bring the issue to the attention of Canadians rented us his house in mid-town Toronto for five weeks.

    Senior W-FIVE staff and producers then met with prospective operatives. We decided on a group of senior university criminology students to assume personas of under-age children.

    With training from New Hampshire Detective James McLaughlin, who has years of experience posing undercover online as an under-age child and years of training law enforcement in undercover Internet operations in both Canada and the U.S., the bantam team of six university criminology students quickly rose to the challenge.

    Under the guidance of Detective McLaughlin, we developed six profiles of under-age children. Among our personas, there was twelve-year-old "Katie", thirteen-year-old "Jenny", and twelve-year-old "Alex".

    Each profile was carefully constructed to mimic the biography of an underage child - along with knowledge of the neighbourhood, schools in the area, and a description of the house.

    We were ready to begin.

    Down the Rabbit Hole

    The unfamiliar world of adults wanting to have sex with children and telling us what sexual acts they wanted to perform soon became our universe every night, for five weeks.

    Like curious Alice following the White Rabbit, we had to find out. We were entering an alien -- and sometimes frightening -- place.

    We had carefully outlined to our operatives the criteria before a meet day and time was established: each persona had to be very clear online about their age (12 or 13 in all cases) and could never initiate the subject of sex or a meeting for sex. As well, each potential Internet predator had to have been sexually explicit in his chat with a clear intent to meet for sexual relations with an underage child, before any meeting was arranged.

    In our first few nights of chatting online in popular teen forums such as MSN and Yahoo, our personas were quickly 'hit on' and some of the people they were talking to were overtly sexually explicit.

    After only a couple of hours, "Katie" was approached online by "Josh" asking her if she feels sexy in certain parts of her body and wanting to know what she knows about sex. Another profile had an invitation from a visiting Washington businessman who wanted to meet -- for sex -- at a downtown Toronto hotel that night.

    In a very short time, our undercover personas were not only invited to meet, but to meet for sex. We knew quickly we had a story worth telling.

    Over the next five weeks, criminology students, monitored by W-FIVE staff, stayed online four to six hours every night, engaged in chat - some of it innocuous and some of it menacing. Each day, the "chat" from the night before was recorded and reviewed in order for W-FIVE to know who was looking for sex with an under-age child.

    Our first meet was set up for a Friday in mid-February - a day off school for one of our profiles. "Yamaha man" was expected at our house at nine o'clock that morning to meet "Katie".

    With its ten-person crew, W-FIVE was in position before the scheduled meet. While the reporter, producer, security, decoy, camera and sound crew hid in the house, the associate producer was outside waiting for Yamaha man's arrival.

    Just after nine o'clock that morning, Yamaha man showed up at our house to meet "Katie".

    Believing he was meeting 12-year-old Katie for sex, Yamaha man, instead, met Alan Fryer, our W-FIVE reporter who confronted the visitor about why he was there. Although Yamaha man tried to deny he was there for sex and that he knew Katie was only 12 years old, Alan Fryer had the truth in front of him - printed records of online chat with "Katie".

    Over five days, six adult men showed up at our house to meet for a sexual encounter with an underage child. That number doesn't include the "no-shows" - adults who said they wanted to meet and arranged times - but for a variety of reasons, did not enter the house. Over the five weeks, our personas had more than a dozen invitations to meet for sex.

    Anyone who cares about children cares about the threats against them. Sadly, we learned that the Internet -- and what invisible stealth it affords -- gives child predators a new opportunity to meet underage children.

    Rob Nickel, author of Staying Safe in a Wired World: A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety

    According to Rob Nickel, author of "Staying Safe In A Wired World: A Parents Guide To Internet Safety", the most important steps parents can take to protect their children online is to keep their child's computer out of the bedroom - in an open space, install chat-monitoring software and spend time with their child online.


    Multi-year International Investigation Nets 35 Counts of Sexual Offences Against Children

    The RCMP would like to confirm that 56 year old Kenneth Robert KLASSEN has been charged with Thirty-five (35) counts of Sexual offences in connection with an on-going two and half (2.5) year International investigation.

    On August 27th, 2004, Canada Border Service Agencies at the Vancouver International Airport identified a suspicious parcel being shipped in from the Philippines to Vancouver. After examining the parcel, CBSA officers located numerous DVDs they believed contained images which contravened the Criminal Code of Canada. The parcel was then turned over to the Burnaby RCMP.

    On September 2nd 2004, Burnaby RCMP Serious Crime Section and RCMP "E" Division Major Crime Investigators monitored the pick-up of the parcel and subsequently arrested Kenneth Robert KLASSEN. Search warrants were then executed on two properties associated with KLASSEN in both Burnaby and Vancouver. During the course of the searches Investigators discovered a video camera along with numerous DVDs. The DVDs allegedly contain video clips that depict KLASSEN engaged in illegal sexual conduct involving numerous young females ranging from 9 to 18 years of age. The majority of the females appearing to be of South American or Asian descent.

    This investigation launched into an International project with the RCMP "E" Division Major Crime Section - Behavioural Sciences Group as the primary investigative unit.

    The investigation to date has involved the FBI in Bellingham and Los Angeles, the Colombian Administrative Department of Security known as (DAS) the Cambodian National Police, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, and Canadian Embassy’s located Colombia, Cambodia and the Philippines.

    The 2.5 year international investigation had gathered evidence that supported the following:

    i. Numerous young female victims had been located & identified;

    ii. 39 geographic crime scene locations had been identified.

    RCMP Investigators originally submitted to Crown Counsel sex offence charges relative to 26 female victims under the new Sex Tourism Legislation being section 7(4.1) of the Canadian Criminal Code for charge approval.

    Crown Counsel completed a charge assessment and approved 35 charges relating to 17 victims:

    • Six (6) Victims of Colombian descent;
    • Eight (8) Victims of Cambodian descent ;and
    • Three (3) Victims from the Philippines

    On March 9th, 2007, 56-year-old Kenneth Robert KLASSEN was arrested without incident in Burnaby. KLASSEN appeared before the Court March 12th, 2007 and has been remanded in custody.

    KLASSEN is currently under charge with the following 35 Sex Tourism offences in relation to 17 Victims with offences having been committed in Cambodia, Colombia & the Philippines from 1998 to 2002. The charges broken down and the penalties in the Canadian Criminal Code are as follows;

    1. 1.Fourteen (14) counts of Sexual Interference - Section 151 C.C.C. (Maximum Sentence - Not exceeding 10 years)
    2. 2. Fourteen (14) counts of Invitation to Sexual Touching - Section 152 C.C.C. (Maximum Sentence - Not exceeding 10 years)
    3. 3. One (1) count of Householder Permitting Sexual Activity - Section 171 C.C.C. (Maximum Sentence - Not exceeding 5 years)
    4. 4. One (1) count of Procuring - Section 212 (1) (a) C.C.C. (Maximum Sentence - Not exceeding 10 years)
    5. 5. Two (2) counts of Procuring - Section 212 (4) C.C.C. (Maximum Sentence - Not exceeding 5 years)
    6. 6. Three (3) counts of Making Child Pornography - Section 163.1(2) C.C.C. (Maximum Sentence - Not exceeding 10 years)

    Note: The above counts are cumulative in nature and encapsulate several instances of alleged criminal sexual conduct.

    This case exemplifies that law enforcement and government agencies from around the world can work cooperatively towards a common goal of the detection, investigation and apprehension of individuals engaged in alleged criminal conduct outside the borders of Canada. It is of paramount importance that individuals from Canada, who allegedly engage in crimes outside our borders, are brought to justice and tried by a court of law in this country.

    The RCMP and the B.C. Attorney General’s office would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication from the following agencies:

    i. Colombian Administrative Department of Security (DAS) and the Colombian Federal Prosecutors from the Fiscalia for their assistance, professionalism and conduct of an outstanding investigation;

    ii. Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs - Criminal, Security & Treaty Law Division;

    iii. Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs - Caribbean, Central America and Andean Region Division and The Southeast Asia & Pacific Division;

    iv. The Canadian Embassy’s in Colombia, Cambodia & the Philippines;

    - 30 -

    Pierre Lemaitre
    Cpl."E" Division Strategic Communications
    5255 Heather Street
    Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 1K6

    Phone: (604)264-2929
    Fax: (604)264-3200
    Email: media.webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

    International Child Porn Ring Uncovered In Austria

    Wednesday February 7, 2007

    Police in Austria are calling it an "unprecedented" strike against child pornography, as they uncover a global ring involving more than 2,000 suspects from 77 countries, including 103 addresses traced to Canada.

    In an investigation dating back to last July, when a man working for a Vienna-based Internet service found objectionable material during a routine check and contacted authorities, it's believed at least 2,360 people paid to view horrifying pictures and videos of children being sexually abused.

    Austrian Interior Minister Guenther Platter confirmed that in the U.S. 600 suspects are being looked at, another 400 in Germany, at least 100 in France, and 23 suspects in Austria. It was later reported that 103 Canadians may also be involved.

    He said the images represented "the worst kind of child sexual abuse."

    Though initial reports suggested the children involved were 0-14, Austrian Internet crime expert Harald Gremel later clarified that no infants were seen in the videos.

    There aren't any Austrian suspects in custody yet, however Gremel says those implicated range in age from 17 to 69.

    It's believed the videos were made in Eastern Europe and then uploaded to a no-longer-in-service Russian website (small.lolitababe.com) via a site in Britain. Users reportedly had to pay US$89 to view the images.

    Austrian officials say they've seized 31 PCs, seven laptop computers, 1,232 DVDs and CDs, 1.428 computer diskettes, and 213 video cassettes.

    Of the Austrian suspects being examined, 14 have allegedly admitted to downloading the videos.

    Word of the bust comes as Ontario kicks off its first Safer Internet Day. Thirty-seven other countries already mark the occasion, which seeks to raise awareness of the dangers children face on the Internet.

    If you come across an instance of child exploitation on the Net, you can always report it to cybertip.ca. It's a kind of Crime Stoppers for computer users to let authorities know about nefarious uses for the worldwide web involving children.

    The service, which has been online since 2002, will analyze your report and pass it along to the proper authorities.

    Here's their list of the top five ways predators try and get at your kids:

    1) Sexual offenders targeting online games that have chat rooms including interactive web games, computer and console games.

    2) Sexual offenders hijacking instant messaging accounts and coercing children to send nude or partially clothed images of themselves. (Between 2005 and 2006, reports of this threat doubled.)

    3) Sexual offenders using 3D animated characters, referred to as Avatars, to engage youth in online conversations.

    4) Sexual offenders targeting social networking sites where children and youth are encouraged to create online diaries and connect with new  people.

    5) Youth sending nude images to peers without understanding the images could be forwarded or permanently posted online.

    The group reminds parents to be vigilant about what their kids are doing online, even if they're not that computer savvy. Trouble can be only a single mouse click away.

    Canadians investigated in global child porn ring

    Updated Wed. Feb. 7 2007 1:05 PM ET

    CTV.ca News Staff

    Authorities in Austria have uncovered a major international child pornography ring that stretches across 77 countries and involves more than 2,360 Internet addresses -- including at least 19 from Canada.

    Austrian officials said they have identified 103 Canadian IP addresses involved in the ring, but the RCMP says the number is much lower, at just 19.

    "We don't know until we contact the Internet service providers whether those are Canadians or hosted in Canada or whether they're international, so that could lead to some of the confusion as to whether they're Canadians and the numbers between 19 and greater," Supt. Earla-Kim McColl told CTV Newsnet.

    She said Austrian authorities have sent the RCMP the information and evidence that they believe pertains to Canadian involvement. Police here will now launch their own investigation.

    "We go to the service provider and attempt to determine whether or not they still have the responsibility for that number and then which geographic address it's related to, and then we forward the investigation to the police of jurisdiction for a further investigation," McColl said.

    CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife said that although there are 19 suspicious IP addresses, "that does not mean that there are 19 suspects -- it could be one individual or several individuals using these addresses."

    The Canadians are suspected of paying to access videos on a website of young children, aged 14 and under, being sexually abused.

    Austrian Interior Minister Guenther Platter said the FBI was investigating about 600 Internet addresses in the United States, German authorities were looking at 400 addresses, France at 100 while his country was looking at 23.

    Platter said the videos contained "the worst kind of child sexual abuse."

    Austrian police are calling the case "a strike against child pornography unprecedented in Austrian criminal history."

    "Girls could be seen being raped, and you could also hear screams,'' said Harald Gremel, an Austrian police expert on Internet crime who headed the investigation.

    Gremel said no infants were seen in any of the videos and that authorities moved quickly to share their information with other countries to help apprehend suspects abroad.

    He said the investigation was launched in July after a man working for a Vienna-based Internet file hosting service alerted authorities at the Interior Ministry to pornographic material he had discovered during a routine check.

    In the span of 24 hours, the man recorded 8,000 hits from 2,361 computer IP addresses in 77 countries, confirmed Gremel. The man managed to record the IP addresses of those trying to access the material and gave the information to authorities.

    In Austria, the youngest person implicated in the case is 17 and the oldest is 69.

    Gremel said the videos were all posted on a Russian website that is now defunct. To access the material, users had to pay US$89.

    Investigators believe most of the videos were made in Eastern Europe and uploaded somewhere in Britain.

    Austrian authorities have so far seized 31 PCs, seven laptops, 1,232 DVDs and CDs, 1,428 diskettes and 213 video cassettes.

    Though the most recent case has garnered a lot of media attention, McColl said similar offences are more common in Canada than most people think.

    "It's a huge problem. And you know, this is a big case but I can say that we get a case like this just about every two weeks," McColl said.

    "We have 14 on the go right now. In one instance we received 600 pages of information of addresses that we need to analyze, so there doesn't seem to be any stop to the appetite for this type of offensive and disturbing material."

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    Study Shows Most Kids See Online Porn Whether They Want To Or NotVideo News DirectorWatch

    Study Shows Most Kids See Online Porn Whether They Want To Or Not

    Tuesday February 6, 2007

    Pornography is a lot like the Internet - you can hardly go anywhere these days without having access to it.

    If you're an adult, that's not really a big problem.

    But if you're a kid, that's a different story altogether.

    A study out of the University of New Hampshire shows at least 42 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 have accidentally come across some pornographic images while surfing the Internet over the past year.

    Of those, a full 66 percent admit they didn't go looking for the graphic graphics and would have preferred not to see them at all. The numbers are up 25 percent from a similar survey taken just five years earlier.

    It's an indicator that even vigilant parents may have a problem keeping their children away from some of the more harmful presences on the worldwide web. Study authors define pornography as images of naked people or people having sex.

    While filters on your PC at home can help, they aren't 100 percent effective because the people who run the sites are adept at getting around them.

    So how does it happen? There are many ways anyone can accidentally stumble on some naughty subject matter.

    "Just key words can bring you into [it]," explains John Muise of the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness. "For instance if you type in probably 'Britney' as in Britney Spears you might end up seeing things you really don't want to see."

    So how can you stop it? You may not like the answer from Muise, a former Toronto police officer.

    "You can't stop it," he states flatly. "As the Internet is currently constituted, you can't stop it. What you can do though is give to your kids ... tools better to cope."

    Many teens are pretty blasť about the conclusions.

    "It's so common now, who hasn't seen something like that?" wonders 17-year-old Emily Duhovny.

    She's been exposed many times before and was shocked the first time, but gradually became inured to it. "It doesn't have to be a negative thing, but that shouldn't be how you learn about sex education," she notes.

    But others wonder about the effects such an early exposure could have on those for whom sex is still a foreign concept. "They're seeing things that they're really not emotionally prepared to see yet, which can cause trauma to them," warns University of Chicago psychiatrist Sharon Hirsch.

    In the end, Muise suggests using the accidental exposure as a way to open a dialogue between you and your kids about what's right, what's wrong and what standards you expect them to adhere to.

    And if you think your kids are immune, he has this challenge for you the next time you're at a search engine.

    "Type in 'sex' or something and get a sense of what's out there," he challenges. "If you haven't looked at this - I suspect many parents haven't - they're going to be pushed back in their chair. Pretty nasty stuff."

    Study Age Breakdown: Exposure To Internet Pornography

    10 & 11 Years Old Accidentally Exposed
    Boys: 17%
    Girls: 16%

    Ages 16 & 17 Deliberate Exposure
    Boys: 33%
    Girls: 8%

    Programs Most Likely To Expose Kids To Porn

    File sharing
    Chat rooms
    General surfing
    Playing games
    Spam (email)

    What Else Can You Do To Protect Your Kids?

    You probably won't be able to do much if they're in someone else's home or any place where there's an Internet connection. But depending on their age, laying down the law early and enforcing them may be the best thing you can do.

    Here are some rules that you can set in your own home to help keep your kids safe online:

    If the family only has one computer, keep it in a visible place where you can see what they're doing.

    If they plan to go into chat rooms, remind them of the number one unbreakable rule - under no circumstances can they ever give out personal information, such as their real name, age, address, gender, email contact, passwords, credit cards or phone number. They should also never agree to meet with anyone they "talk" to.

    Never let them go into 'private areas' in chat rooms.

    If someone tries to get their names or sends them questionable content, contact police and your Internet service provider. They may be able to trace the user.

    Familiarize yourself with short forms teens often use online. "P.O.S.", for example, stands for "Parent Over Shoulder". It indicates they don't want to let you see what they're doing.

    Install a program like Net Nanny to keep young surfers away from sites you don't want them to see.

    Encourage them to tell you if they accidentally come across sites they know they shouldn't be seeing. You can then try and block that site or even contact your ISP to report it if you feel it's illegitimately trying to lure in your kids.

    Tell your children to choose pseudonyms that are gender neutral, to further hide who they are.

    Limit their time online. There are other things in life, like sports, homework and friends.

    Remember the computer is yours, not theirs. You paid for it, so you get to say what it's used for. Don't be afraid to take away your child's surfing privileges if they don't play by your rules.

    Child porn fighters fear a bad year in 2007

    Canadian Press

    TORONTO — After a year of shocking firsts that featured precious few reasons to celebrate and a never-ending list of predators to pursue, the front-line officers in the fight against pornographers who abuse and exploit children on the Internet are bracing for a difficult 2007.

    In addition to several Canadian cases of Internet-based sex abuse that garnered headlines around the world, police say 2006 will likely go down as the year that the webcam became a torment tool of choice for pedophiles who are no longer content to look at photos or video clips.

    It's the latest disturbing frontier in the rapidly evolving cyber-world of online child porn - one that has investigators not only looking for the bad guys, but also for their young, innocent and anonymous victims.

    Live online abuse has become a badge of honour for Internet pedophiles, said Toronto police Det.-Const. Warren Bulmer, one of two officers in the city's world-renowned child exploitation unit dedicated solely to identifying and finding victims.

    "You have these individuals who feel their status or reputation as a pedophile can be brought to that next bar or next level because they're actually bringing a child onto a webcam live and abusing that child," Bulmer said.

    In November, a 34-year-old man from St. Thomas, Ont., was arrested after he was allegedly witnessed by an undercover officer sexually assaulting his preschool-aged daughter during a private show live on the Internet.

    It was the first known arrest in Canada based on alleged live abuse, but it most certainly won't be the last, police warn - pedophiles who are far more interested in videos than photos have discovered a dangerous new thrill: starring in their own homemade child pornography.

    "You're watching a crime occur for (many) straight minutes - and sometimes that has sound," Bulmer said.

    "When you have a situation where people are sexually abusing a child to make more friends or become more popular in a chat room, that concept is what scares us."

    Some pedophiles, many of whom relish the attention and hero-worship they receive within the child-porn community, are even offering interactive shows to their audiences, said Staff Sgt. Mike Frizzell of the RCMP's National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre.

    "Now you get instant feedback; you get instant gratification from your peers with comments like, 'Wow, what great pics, man! You have any more of those?"' Frizzell said.

    "When you're a pedophile, you will always look to be reinforced on what you're doing, and if it's from other pedophiles, who cares? They're seemingly educated and articulate and the rest of society is the problem, they tell themselves."

    Webcams also played a key role in the exploitation of more than 100 young girls in Canada and England. A 21-year-old man from Kingston, Ont., allegedly convinced victims to expose themselves or perform sex acts on camera, and then used the material he gathered to blackmail them for more.

    The victims, all between the ages of nine and 15, were threatened with rape and death if they didn't comply.

    "This is the first time in human history we've had to rely on the laws, the investigators and other countries to keep our kids safe in their own bedrooms," Frizzell said.

    "There can be extortion and harassment from another continent away - keeping our kids safe in the privacy of their own homes has now become an international issue."

    Indeed, webcams are at the forefront of a concept called compliant victimization: young people are seduced by online predators and convinced that exposing themselves online is OK and normal, said Rosalind Prober, president of the non-governmental organization Beyond Borders.

    "Young people often argue with you that what they're doing is what they want to do and the person on the Internet is really their boyfriend, they weren't sexually exploited and they wanted to raise their shirts and show their breasts over the Internet," Prober said.

    "It takes a lot of debriefing and deprogramming to get those children to view themselves as victims, which they truly are, a compliant victim."

    But despite the mostly long, depressing days for child exploitation investigators, there were some moments to celebrate this year, particularly in March when an Edmonton man named Carl Treleaven went to jail.

    Treleaven, 49, was a key member of a global child-porn ring that operated in at least six countries and distributed images and videos of incest, bestiality and rape. Treleaven pleaded guilty even before he had a lawyer; with his help, police arrested about 40 suspects from around the world.

    He received the longest-ever prison term in Canada for distribution of child pornography: three-and-a-half years.

    But those victorious moments were all too brief compared to the herculean task that faces investigators each day. It's believed child pornography documents the abuse of an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 victims worldwide; to date, fewer than 500 have been identified and rescued.

    "Law enforcement traditionally has always been a little bit behind, especially when it comes to technology," Bulmer said.

    "We're under the guidance of budgets and rules and regulations and other things that (pedophiles) are not, so for us to get into the game has taken a while. But we've become much better doing what it is that we're doing now in such a short period of time."

    Unfortunately, so has the enemy, said Prober.

    "These individuals really end up so sexually addicted that they devote their whole lives to their technologies and mastering them in order to sexually exploit children," she said.

    "What do you do to protect more children? It's getting more difficult all the time."

    Please get in touch to offer comments and join our mailing list.

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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