A Grande Prairie man is facing child sexual exploitation charges and there may be more victims that have yet to come forward.
Corporal Dave Knight with ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit alleges the 34-year-old suspect would pose as a teenage girl online “in order to lure teenage boys.”
Knight says, “he was using the photos and names of innocent third parties to construct these personas.”
“We don’t know what happened once these pictures and videos were given to the suspect,” Knight continues, “Often videos and pictures can stay on the internet in cyberspace forever. It can cause the victims to be re-victimized over and over again.”
ICE says the conversations would progress from sexual conversations to the sharing of images and videos. The suspect is also said to have tried to arrange to meet up with the boys with whom he was talking.
A publication ban is currently in place which is meant to protect the identity of the person who reported the crime and members of their family. ALERT has only said a “concerned family member” made the report. ICE has identified two victims so far after starting their investigation in November but expect there are other victims.
Police say the suspect has been involved with a number of junior hockey teams. ALERT says it is working with its partners in the Northwest Territories, northern B.C. and Australia to look into similar crimes. He has also lived in Kelowna.
The suspect was arrested at his home in Grande Prairie on January 23. He is facing two counts each of child luring, making child pornography, distributing child pornography and possessing child pornography. Police say other victims may not recognize him from his real name because of the online personas he used. He remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court February 12.
A previous version of this article included the suspect’s name. It has since been protected by a publication ban.