Bowmanville man lured boy by posing as woman on Facebook, police allege

A Bowmanville, Ont. man has been charged with luring a child through a fake Facebook profile.

Police say the accused may have obtained child's name at a hockey arena

A fake "Jennifer Jackson" Facebook profile photo released by York Regional Police. (York Regional Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit)

A Bowmanville  man is accused of luring a child through a fake Facebook profile.

The accused, who is 40, has been charged with two counts of luring a person under the age of 16 by means of telecommunication. He appeared in Newmarket court on Tuesday.

York Regional Police say the investigation began in November 2015 when a mother in York region told police she found what she considered "inappropriate" chat messages on her 12-year-old son's Facebook account.

Investigators with the York Regional Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit say they determined that the boy had been contacted on Facebook by a person posing as Jennifer Jackson, a 25-year-old woman.

Police say the person behind the account complimented the boy on his appearance and asked him to upload a photo of himself. The investigators say the "online grooming" eventually became sexual in nature.

Police determined that the Jennifer Jackson profile was fake and was being operated by a 40-year-old man from Bowmanville. Police searched his residence Thursday, arrested him without incident and seized a number of electronic devices.

Accused worked in hockey arenas

Investigators say they believe the accused, who worked part-time at snack shops in hockey arenas in the Oshawa area, used his job to obtain the child's name. 

"It is through the association of hockey and hockey arenas that we believe he obtained the name of the victim," Const. Andy Pattenden said. 

Police have not yet determined exactly how the suspect obtained the victim's name, but say it is possible he found it through a team roster or the back of a hockey jersey.

Pattenden said the accused may have worked in the snack shops at the following Oshawa areas: Donevan Recreation Complex, Oshawa Civic Recreation Complex, Harman Arena, and Oshawa Children's Arena.

A profile photo used on the fake Facebook profile has been released. Police say there may be other victims.

Anyone who was contacted through this profile is asked to call the York Regional Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7078, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS