TEN ARRESTED ACROSS THE PROVINCE IN CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION INVESTIGATION

39 Charges Laid in Four-Day Investigation

(ORILLIA, ON) – Ten people have been arrested and 39 criminal offences have been laid during a four-day proactive child sexual exploitation investigation.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), North Bay Police Service, Greater Sudbury Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, York Regional Police and Peel Regional Police, with support from Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, took part in the luring investigation from September 12 to 15, 2023 known as Project Limestone. Investigators utilized undercover techniques to access online chatrooms and social media applications designed for children in order to identify, locate and arrest persons looking to sexually exploit children.

Project highlights include:

  • 55 devices were seized.
  • In one circumstance, it took approximately an hour and a half from engaging online to the individual arriving at a location to meet with the undercover investigator posing as a child.
  • Six individuals were arrested when they showed up to a pre-set location to meet with the investigators posing as children online.
  • Two individuals set up meetings with the undercover investigators who were posing as mothers with young children.
  • Some of the accused arrived with candy, toys and sexual paraphernalia.
  • One of the arrested is a repeat offender who was out on bail at the time of their arrest.

A list of arrested persons, their municipality of residence and their respective charges is attached to this media release (see PROJECT LIMESTONE).

The OPP, North Bay Police Service, Greater Sudbury Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, York Regional Police and Peel Regional Police, along with the Ontario’s Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet police partners, have noted a significant increase in the number of calls for service. Luring offenders often target a multitude of victims at the same time. Predators go where children go; it is imperative that parents and caregivers are aware of what their children do online.

To learn how to keep children safe, go to Canadian Centre for Child Protection. If you have information related to child sexual exploitation, contact your local police or report to cybertip.ca.