Child pornography: 13 charged after alleged pedophile ring busted by police in Quebec, Toronto
'Operation Malaise,' 3-year probe of online activities, targets men in 6 Quebec cities as well as Toronto
UPDATE: May 25, 2018: The following court decisions have been made in connection to this story:
Acquitted: Dave Turcotte, Didier Chételat and David Boucher.
Pleaded guilty: Jonathan St-Pierre, Jean-Marc St-Hilaire, Claude Paquette, Simon Brochu, Francis Perron, Kenneth Jodoin and Roger Lepage.
Charges dropped: Vincent Rodrigue.
Still before the courts: André Faivre, Patrick Charbonneau.
Thirteen men were charged in connection with child pornography after Quebec and Ontario police busted an online pedophile ring on Wednesday.
Twelve of the men were arrested yesterday, while one was already in custody. There are warrants for the arrest of two other men.
Some of the men face charges in connection with the production and distribution of child pornography, while others are accused exclusively of possession of child pornography.
The four men appeared at the Montreal courthouse via video conference today:
- Roger Lepage, 74, of Lévis.
- Jonathan St-Pierre, 28, of Trois-Rivières.
- Francis Perron, 46, of Quebec City.
- Vincent Rodrigue, 39, of unknown address.
Nine others appeared in court, in person, this afternoon:
- Claude Paquette, 31, of Montreal.
- Simon Brochu, 34, of Montreal.
- Didier Chetelat, 27, of Montreal
- David Boucher, 31, of Montreal.
- André Faivre, 67, of Montreal.
- Patrick Charbonneau, 36, of Montreal.
- Kenneth Jodoin, 40, of Montreal.
- Dave Turcotte, 40, of Saint-Hilaire-de-Dorset.
- Jean Marc St-Hilaire, 66, of Saint-Eustache.
According to Quebec provincial police, the force which led the investigation, the individuals allegedly exchanged information about their sexual experiences with children in online discussion forums.
They are also alleged to have discussed tactics and locations where sexual contact with children could take place.
The accused are due back in court on Feb. 2 for bail hearings.
More than 150 officers from Quebec and Ontario have been involved in the operation, dubbed Operation Malaise.
Wednesday's arrests follow an investigation that began in 2013 following tips from the public.
Police said the investigation continues, and there could be more arrests.
with files from Canadian Press