Some child porn victims too young to even talk

Two Sudbury suspects nabbed in province-wide campaign

OPP Inspector Tina Chalk (Manager Electronic Crime Section), speaks to the media at a press conference in Vaughan as the OPP announced a provincial strategy to protect children from sexual exploitation, on Wednesday December 5, 2018. Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

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Two Sudbury men have been arrested for child exploitation as part of a provincewide crackdown.

John R. Taggart, 45, faces charges of luring, indecent exposure, making an arrangement to commit a sexual offence and making explicit material available to a person under 16.

A 17-year-old Sudbury man also faces multiple luring and exposure charges, as well as making and possessing child pornography. His identity is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The arrests locally are examples of a much bigger problem.

Police in other jurisdictions have also been busy tracking down child exploiters, with hundreds of charges laid in the span of one month through the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet.

At a media conference Wednesday in Vaughan, the OPP and municipal policing partners said 551 charges against 122 individuals had been laid in November in Ontario.

Those charged include 11 youth who cannot be identified under terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Fifty-five victims were identified during the investigations and referred to appropriate community-based resources for assistance, according to a release from the OPP.

Charges include: sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, possession of child pornography, making child pornography available, distribution of child pornography, making child pornography, accessing child pornography, luring, and making sexually explicit material available to a child.

Among those charged are teachers — past and present — emergency services personnel, military members, gamers, heavy metal singers and others who are active in local communities.

But detectives with the OPP say what they uncovered in November was just “the tip of the iceberg.”

To wit: Investigators discovered 834 unique IP addresses accessing child pornography during November.

Some of the victims were as young as three years old.

“Some of these victims are so young, they cannot report the crimes because they have not uttered their first word,” OPP Insp. Tina Chalk told reporters this week.

“If you watch, distribute or access child pornography, you may as well be holding the hand of the offender who is committing the abuse.”

The two arrests in Sudbury were made after the cyber crime unit of Greater Sudbury Police executed four search warrants at separate residences.

Two victims have been identified as a result of the investigations and they have been referred to appropriate victim services, the police service said.

“These investigations are ongoing and additional charges are pending,” a release from Greater Sudbury Police states.

The cyber crime unit in Sudbury also assisted North Bay Police Service in the execution of two search warrants, leading to the arrest of two men in North Bay.

Similar charges were laid against men and youth in Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins.

The OPP said it’s been taking part in a coordinated provincial strategy since 2006 that has consistently seen high levels of child exploitation activity, though officers have noted that investigators have observed a trend toward younger victims and more violent offences in recent years.

Since its inception, police said the provincial strategy has led to nearly 21,000 charges against 5,686 people and 2,009 children have been rescued.

OPP Staff-Sgt. Sharon Hanlon, co-ordinator of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet, said the people arrested in November come from all walks of life from communities across the province.

The 122 people facing charges include 12 with previous convictions for offences related to child sexual abuse materials, 11 youth under the age of 18 and one female, Hanlon said.

“I think it’s clear that this crime crosses all demographics of wealth, employment, social status and age,” she said. “These people are our neighbours, relatives and friends.”

“These are people we invite into our worlds because we trust them,” Hanlon added.

The lone female on the roster of 122 arrests is Ashley Raymer, 23, of Thunder Bay. Raymer was charged with making child pornography, making child pornography available, sexual assault, and sexual interference.

Officers claim the alleged victim was a 10-year-old girl that she knew.

Among the others charged is Hamilton paramedic, Frank Hampson, 50, charged with possession and accessing child pornography.

Jason Tymczyna, 39, of Oshawa, charged with possession of child pornography, accessing it and distributing it. He says he’s a writing and editing professional.

He advises on his Twitter feed: “Reality is for losers who don’t play video games. Heh.”

Native and Occupy activist Richard Dalkeith, 40, of Windsor is charged with eight counts of various child porn offences.

There are folk guitarists, heavy metal singers, personal care assistants and a slew of other occupations among the accused. There are underaged and elderly.

Many of the accused are already familiar with the legal system.

Among those charged was also Christopher Pulleyn, 43, of Mississauga, who allegedly abused numerous children between 2010 and 2013.

He was a frequent flier in the “rave party scene” where he allegedly preyed on young girls.

— with files from Postmedia

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

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