Edmonton

Parents warned about kids' online safety after Wainwright man charged with luring, sex assault

A 30-year-old man has been charged with mutiple offences after a joint ALERT-RCMP investigation into online child luring.

Accused allegedly used social media to lure and extort at least 3 victims

The investigation was conducted by ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit in conjunction with Wainwright RCMP. (CBC)

The arrest of a 30-year-old Wainwright man on child luring offences has prompted a warning to parents about the dangers their children face while in COVID-19 isolation.

"Increased online activity during isolation puts children at risk of being taken advantage of," Cpl. Kirk Smith of Wainwright RCMP said in a news release Wednesday.

"We are asking all parents to be aware of who their children are chatting with online and the type of conversations that are taking place."

 A Wainwright man was arrested at home on May 6 following a joint investigation by Wainwright RCMP and the Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit of ALERT, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams.

The man allegedly lured and extorted at least three victims through a variety of online social media applications, police said.

He is alleged to have met and sexually assaulted one of the victims.

Wainwright RCMP had received several complaints about an unknown suspect dating back to January 2019.

ICE got involved in April of this year. The joint investigation culminated in the execution of multiple search warrants and the arrest of the accused.

The man has been charged with child luring; sexual assault; extortion; invitation to sexual touching; making sexually explicit material available to a child; making arrangements for a sexual offence against a child; and possession of child pornography.

ICE is conducting an examination and forensic analysis of computers and electronic devices seized from the man's home.

Anyone with information is asked to contact local police or cybertip.ca.

Wainwright is 200 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

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