A man who served a 15-year sentence for beating a woman nearly to death and who prompted a police warning upon his release two years ago faces 10 new charges in an assault of a 14-year-old girl who police say was lured over the Internet.
Police have charged Hassan Steven Jarrar, 41, with the following charges:
- Sexual assault.
- Sexual interference.
- Access to child pornography.
- Possessing child pornography.
- Making child pornography.
- Luring a child.
- Three counts of failing to comply with conditions of a prior release.
Police say the charges stem from Jarrar's contact with a 14-year-old girl police believe was being extorted using a photo she had sent to the accused.
Police say the assault occurred earlier this month at a hotel in the area of the Queensway and Royal York Road.
"The Internet gives people a false sense of security and allows [victims] to do things they wouldn't normally do," said Insp. Joanna Beaven-Desjardins at a news conference Friday. "Predators know this."
In 1997 Jarrar was convicted of beating a teen prostitute nearly to death. She was found dumped in an isolated area near Lake Ontario. The woman sustained life-threatening injuries, was hospitalized for several months and required a long rehabilitation to recover.
Jarrar served the full 15-year sentence for the crime and upon his release in 2012, police issued a warning to the public. His release also came with numerous court-ordered restrictions, including a 12 a.m. curfew and a stipulation that he notify police before entering any romantic relationship.
The stipulations of his release did not restrict him from using the Internet, because was not known to have used the Internet in his previous crimes, police said.
"There was no evidence that he had the Internet," said Beaven-Desjardins. "To monitor the Internet you have to get judicial authorization. You have to know that he is using the Internet and then you have to get judicial authorization to monitor it. We didn't have that information."
Police believe there may be more victims and issued a message on Instagram asking anyone who may have been lured by the accused to come forward.
Beaven-Desjardins also said parents should educate their children about the dangers of online predators.
"The Internet is where these predators hang around, and they have the time to do it," she said. "They build a rapport with these kids, who don't have the mental maturity to make judgment calls."
She suggested the website cybertips.ca as a good resource for parents.
For young people who find themselves compromised because of images they may have distributed online, she suggested the website Needhelpnow.ca as a resource.
Below is the police press conference on YouTube.