A Georgian Bay Township man has been arrested and charged with Child Pornography offences following a long investigation by members of the OPP Child Sexual Exploitation Unit, Digital Forensic Unit and Bracebridge OPP.
Police executed a search warrant at a residence in Mactier on March 27 and seized two electronic devices for further examination. As a result of the investigation, Dennis James Gardner, 51, of Georgian Bay Township was arrested and charged with two counts of Possession of Child Pornography and one count of Making Available Child Pornography. The OPP said they will continue to “aggressively identify and pursue individuals who use technology to exploit children.” Police want to remind parents to take a proactive approach in protecting their children from online sexual exploitation by speaking with them about internet safety.
“Our reality today is that every person around the world with a sexual interest in children has immediate access to any child has access to the internet. It’s like they are sitting next to our kids even though they could be across the globe,” said Staff Sergeant Sharon Hanlon of the OPP Child Sexual Exploitation Unit. “We as parents and community members have to know who their children are interacting with online. These offenders are very manipulative. If parents are not engaged – they will never see them coming until it’s too late.”
Gardner’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 9 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Bracebridge.
Parents can find resources on internet safety here. If you have information regarding internet child exploitation and wish to provide information anonymously you can contact Crime Stoppers at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca. You can also report information online through www.cybertips.ca.