Four local men arrested for child pornography as part of provincial strategy

The uptick in child pornography related arrests locally of late has actually been part of a much larger Provincial Strategy, which has led to 551 charges in November of 2018 alone.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), along with 26 police agencies from across the province, gathered for a press conference in Vaughn, Ont. on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 to announce the results of investigations by Internet Child Exploitation Investigators, who work in partnership with local police agencies around the province. The OPP called the press conference a “snapshot of over a month’s worth of work” by those investigators, which is work done as part of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet.

Through the month of November, 267 judicial authorizations to identify internet users suspected of being involved with child pornography and/or abuse were obtained as a result of the Provincial Strategy. Those authorizations resulted in a total of 551 charges against 122 people, including 11 youths who cannot be identifies under the terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Charges laid include:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual interference (of a minor)
  • Invitation to sexual touching
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Making child pornography available
  • Distribution of child pornography
  • Making child pornography
  • Accessing child pornography
  • Luring
  • Making sexually explicit material available to a child

Here in Kingston, the Provincial Strategy led to four arrests in the month of November. Charged are:

Robert J Burns, 43

  • possession of child pornography
  • 11 counts of agreement or arrangement of a sexual offence against a child
  • luring a person under 16
  • two counts of failure to comply with Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) conditions
  • Making child pornography
  • Two counts of attempted making of child pornography

David P. Malcolm, 31

  • Possession of child pornography
  • Accessing child pornography
  • Making child pornography available

Jody A. MacDonald, 50

  • Possession of child pornography
  • Accessing child pornography

The identity of one local male is being withheld at the request of police.

Across the province, 55 victims were identified during the investigations, OPP said in a press release. Those victims were referred to appropriate community-based resources for assistance. Additionally, police seized 17 firearms, three of which were loaded handguns.

During the press conference, police displayed a video showing 843 unique IP addresses. Those addresses were associated with either possession of child sex abuse material, making child sex abuse material available, or were present on a suspected child pornography website. These IP address were observed in November of this year alone, and are “the tip of the iceberg” in relation to online child sexual exploitation in Ontario, police said.

“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,” said Rick Barnum, Deputy Commissioner of the OPP Investigation and Support Bureau.

Since its inception in August of 2006, the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet has completed 50,403 investigations, according to the OPP. From those investigations, 20,901 charges were laid against 5,686 people. During those 12 years, 2,009 child victims have been identified in Ontario and elsewhere.

“Perpetrators of online sexual exploitation often minimize their actions by saying they were ‘just looking,’” expressed Staff Sgt. Sharon Hanlon, coordinator of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet.

“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.”

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