Toronto

Ontario child porn bust snares 35

A co-ordinated investigation into child pornography in Ontario resulted in charges against 35 people across the province, police say.

A co-ordinated investigation into child pornography in Ontario resulted in charges against 35 people across the province, police announced Wednesday.

Two child victims, one in the province, the other outside Canada, were "rescued," police said, although they refused to provide details.

"This is a crime that, to me, is one of the most heinous one human being can commit against another," said Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino.

"[Police] will stop at nothing to hunt down child predators."

The charges follow weeks of legwork involving 18 police services that are part of a provincewide initiative to combat child pornography.

In all, 44 search warrants were executed, leading to 122 child porn and other charges.

Police said the individuals charged were not part of any ring.

As representatives from more than a dozen police services across the province looked on, Fantino decried a justice system he said was too soft on child pornographers.

In particular, he lashed out at the maximum 10-year sentence.

"You can't in good conscience call that adequate punishment for such a brutal crime," Fantino said.

Widespread problem, group says

Kid's Internet Safety Alliance, an organization that helps child victims of abuse, applauded the bust.

At the same time, the group called the arrests "a drop in the bucket" of child porn.

"The traffic in images of abuse is an international problem involving over a million pictures of more than 50,000 different children from around the world," the alliance said in a statement.

"Only about 1,300 of these children have been rescued."

Police said those charged were arrested in recent days, with two arrests still to come.

One accused had more than six million images stored on his computer.

Staff-Sgt. Frank Goldschmidt said it was not "uncommon" for individuals to have that many images.

"The images are horrific. The only thing worse is when the images involve movies and there's sound attached to them," he said.

"We see victims that are from infant stage to 18 years of age."

Five youths were among those charged.

All those charged, described as coming from all walks of life and ranging in age from teens to one man in his 60s, appeared to have no prior arrests for child porn.

The accused, from places such as Ottawa, Windsor, Toronto, London and Collingwood, face charges including sexual assault and making, possessing and distributing child pornography.

Firearms and drug-related charges were also laid against some of the individuals.

The accused include:

  • Willy Garcia-Porras, 26, of Toronto, who faces two counts of possession and one count of making available child pornography.
  • Jimmy Roca, 36, of Toronto, faces two counts of possession, one count of importing and one count of making available child pornography.
  • Nirushananthan Thillaiabalam, 32, of Markham, Ont., faces one count of possession and one count of making available child pornography.
  • Edwin Khitab, 33, of Ottawa, faces two counts of possession and one count of making available child pornography.
  • Michael McCurdy, 23, of Ottawa, faces two counts of possession and one count of making available child pornography.

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