9 in Waterloo region, Guelph charged with online child sexual abuse in November: OPP
551 charges a 'snapshot of one month’s worth of work' by investigators, OPP says
Five people in Guelph and four in Waterloo region have been charged in cases of online child sexual abuse in just one month, the OPP say.
The provincial force released the numbers Wednesday to give a "snapshot of one month's worth of work" by internet child exploitation investigators.
In the course of one month, 122 people were charged with 551 charges that include sexual assault, sexual interference, possession of child pornography, invitation to sexual touching, luring and making sexually explicit material available to a child.
There were 55 victims identified during the investigations, the OPP said.
OPP Staff Sgt. Sharon Hanlon co-ordinates the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet. In a release, she said people often try to discount their actions when caught by police.
"Perpetrators of online sexual exploitation often minimize their actions by saying they were 'just looking.' Let me be clear: Anyone who possesses, distributes, accesses or otherwise supports the supply and demand chain for child sexual abuse images are complicit in the sexual exploitation of children," Hanlon said.
In Guelph, five people were arrested, ages 29, 24, 66, 43 and 35.
There were two people from Waterloo arrested, ages 24 and 29.
There was one person from Conestogo, aged 45 and one 30-year-old from Kitchener arrested.