A former Edmonton soldier has pleaded guilty to dozens of child-sex charges, including making child pornography, luring and exposing himself.

Matthew Richervezeau, who left the military in May, was charged in August after he developed online relationships with at least a half-dozen young boys, some as young as 11. He originally faced 119 charges, but pleaded guilty Friday to 48 charges.

'I am there to protect and make sure kids are not abused online,'- Matthew Richervezeau to concerned parent

The 23-year-old former trooper with Lord Strathcona's Horse regiment sat in court wearing orange jail coveralls, his hands covering his face as a 53-page agreed statement of facts was read.

Court was told how Richervezeau would use online tools like MSN Messenger and XBox Live, an online video-game service, to establish then escalate relationships with young boys.

Even as the relationships turned sexual, Richervezeau called the boys' parents over the telephone to try and gain their trust. The parents usually had no idea what was actually happening online.

In 2010, while living in military barracks, Richervezeau befriended two young boys who lived in the United States. The group kept in touch through MSN Messenger and XBox Live.

The conversations turned to talk about masturbation and what the group called "dare games," involving Richervezeau and the two boys, who were friends, masturbating at the same time via MSN and XBox video messenger.

When confronted by parents, Richervezeau told them he was a victim of sexual abuse and wanted to help the children and to be an "advocate."

"I am there to protect and make sure kids are not abused online," he told one parent.

One mother was concerned and ran a criminal-record check on Richervezeau. When it turned up nothing, she concluded that nothing was amiss.

Told to stay away

Military officials became aware of Richervezeau's relationship with the two boys and, in June 2012, he was charged with child luring and ordered to not contact the boys. Richervezeau did contact the pair and was charged with breaching the orders.

Meanwhile, Richervezeau started relationships with other young boys. In one case, Richervezeau asked to speak with the mother of a 13-year-old in the United States he wanted to play XBox with. The mother thought Richervezeau was being respectful and allowed the conversations to continue.

While the pair played video games together over XBox Live, Richervezeau asked the boy sexual questions and exposed himself. Richervezeau asked the boy to expose himself, which he did. The boy was also told to tell Richervezeau he loved him at the end of the gaming sessions.

Richervezeau's online tools also included sending Facebook messages, which he would sign "bro," then "brother and "loving brother," and eventually "I love you."

Internet devices searched

Military police eventually became involved and Richervezeau's barracks room was searched. Investigators seized hard-drives, computers, phones and an iPod, and turned them over to Alberta's Integrated Child Exploitation unit. Images of child pornography, as well as explicit internet conversations were found.

Richervezeau was interviewed by military police, and insisted that it was the boys themselves who initiated the "dare games" and questions about sex, and that he tried to look away when they exposed themselves. His case was eventually turned over to a civilian court.

Richervezeau will remain in custody and will be given a psychiatric assessment, prior to his sentencing on Jan. 22, 2014.