OPP Announces 122 People With Charges Related To Child Porn, Two Locals Included

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Photo courtesy of the OPP

Over a hundred people have been charged across Ontario, including two locals, in what police are saying is a small look at the work done by Internet Child Exploitation Investigators for a provincial strategy against online abuse.

At a media conference today in Vaughan, the OPP along with 26 police agencies of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet announced the results of their November investigations. During the month, a total of 267 warrants were obtained, resulting in 551 charges against 122 persons in Ontario, including 11 youth who cannot be identified under terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. 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.   

“Perpetrators of online sexual exploitation often minimize their actions by saying they were ‘just looking,’” said Staff Sergeant Sharon Hanlon, who coordinates the provincial program. “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.”

Police showed a video with 834 unique IP addresses that were connected to the possession or making available of child sexual abuse material or that were present on a suspected child pornography website. These IP addresses were observed over the month of November and police are describing these numbers as the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to online child sexual exploitation in Ontario.

The OPP has released a list of arrested persons, their municipality of residence and their respective charges, but the investigation continues and additional arrests are pending. The charges laid include 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, Luring and Making Sexually Explicit Material Available to a Child.

Cody A. Secord, 23, of Huntsville was charged with one count of possessing child pornography and one count of making it available. George Piche, 66, of Orillia was charged with two counts of possessing child pornography and one count of making it available.

Additional partners that helped the 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 involved to advocate for more services for identified victims of exploitation and to enhance awareness to prevent further harm and victimization.

From its start in August 2006, the Provincial Strategy has completed 50,403 investigations and laid 20,901 charges against 5,686 people. During that time, over 2,000 child victims have been identified in Ontario and beyond.  

“It is our fundamental and moral responsibility to ensure every child grows up safe,” said Deputy Commissioner Rick Barnum. “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.”

Photo courtesy of the OPP

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