(ONTARIO) – Numerous charges have been laid across Ontario, in what police are calling a snapshot of one month’s worth of work by Internet Child Exploitation Investigators that make up the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet.
At a media conference today in Vaughan, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) along with 26 police agencies of the Provincial Strategy announced the results of investigations during the month of November across the entire province of Ontario. A total of 267 judicial authorizations were obtained, resulting in 551 charges against 122 persons, including 11 youth who cannot be identified under terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Interference
- Invitation to Sexual Touching
- Possession of Child Pornography
- Make Available Child Pornography
- Distribution of Child Pornography
- Making Child Pornography
- Accessing Child Pornography
- Making Sexually Explicit Material Available to a Child.
In addition, 55 victims were identified during the investigations and referred to appropriate community-based resources for assistance. Police also seized a total of 17 firearms three of which were loaded handguns.
Two Thunder Bay locals were charged, Ashley Raymer(pictured left) and Stephen Kean (Pictured right).
FULL LIST OF PEOPLE CHARGED (Zoom in to see better) (UPDATED)
Additional partners that participated in these investigations included RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, The FBI and United States Homeland Security Investigations. Representatives of BOOST Child and Youth Advocacy Centre and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (CCCP) were also on hand to advocate for more services for identified victims of exploitation and to enhance awareness to prevent further harm and victimization.
Police displayed a video showing 834 unique IP addresses associated to the possession or making available of child sexual abuse material or were present on a suspected child pornography website.
These IP addresses were observed over the month of November alone. Police describe these numbers as the “tip of the iceberg” in relation to online child sexual exploitation in Ontario.
From its inception in August 2006, the entire Provincial Strategy has completed 50,403 investigations and laid 20,901 charges against 5,686 people. During that period, 2,009 child victims have been identified in Ontario and beyond.
More arrests are expected.
The Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet was created in response to the Ontario government’s request that police develop a coordinated, province-wide approach to combat Internet crimes against children.
The stated goal of the Provincial Strategy was for the province to respond to this growing issue as a cohesive, united team, rather than having each municipal police force develop different approaches to deal with child pornography, luring and child sexual abuse on the Internet.
Police services in Ontario, through the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), subsequently developed a systematic, victim- driven, all–encompassing approach to the prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation on the Internet.
The Provincial Strategy aims to effectively address the “complete picture” of child sexual abuse and exploitation – from the outset of an investigation, to offender apprehension and management, effective prosecution and sentencing, victim identification and support, as well as prevention and awareness.
Prior to the Provincial Strategy, there was no mechanism in place for the vital coordination of intelligence, investigative support and information sharing. Police in Ontario have since recognized that, depending upon the age of the victim, internet child exploitation charges can and have been laid during some human trafficking investigations.
The OPP Child Sexual Exploitation Unit administers the Provincial Strategy and has formed a Joint Management Team, consisting of senior officers from the OPP, 26 Ontario police services, and Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ministry of the Attorney General.
The 26 participating municipal police services include Barrie Police Service, Brantford Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, Guelph Police Service, Halton Regional Police, Hamilton Police, Kingston Police Service, London Police Service, Niagara Regional Police, Ottawa Police Service, Peel Regional Police, Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, Greater Sudbury Police Service, Thunder Bay Police, Toronto Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police, Windsor Police Service, York Regional Police, Belleville Police Service, Chatham-Kent Police Service, Cornwall Community Police Service, North Bay Police Service, Peterborough Police Service, Sarnia Police, Timmins Police and Woodstock Police Service.
In 2018, Provincial Strategy partners, with assistance from the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, United States Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI – shared insight into what a month for an Internet Child Exploitation Investigator entails in the Province of Ontario.
“It is our fundamental and moral responsibility to ensure every child grows up safe. On behalf of the OPP, I want to make this message very clear: We will not stand for anyone hurting our kids. We will do everything we can to reduce the threat child predators pose to our children.” – Deputy Commissioner Rick Barnum, OPP Investigation and Support Bureau
“The investigators of the Provincial Strategy and our partners work tirelessly in one of the most difficult jobs in policing to bring those who would harm our children to justice. We know from experience that working together will allow us to most effectively combat the internet sexual exploitation of children.” – Inspector Tina CHALK, OPP Counter Exploitation and Missing Persons Section
“Perpetrators of online sexual exploitation often minimize their actions by saying they were ‘just looking.’ Let me be clear: Anyone who possesses, distributes, accesses or otherwise supports the supply and demand chain for child sexual abuse images are complicit in the sexual exploitation of children.” – Staff Sergeant Sharon Hanlon, Coordinator of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet