KAWARTHA LAKES-“The public should know how quickly predators engage with your children online.” said the OPP in today’s press conference.
In one case it took only an hour and a half from when the suspect engaged with an undercover officer posing as a child online to when they arrived to meet with who they thought was a child, according to the OPP.
Ten people have been arrested and 39 criminal offences have been laid during a four-day proactive child sexual exploitation investigation.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), North Bay Police Service, Greater Sudbury Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, York Regional Police and Peel Regional Police, with support from Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, took part in the luring investigation from September 12 to 15, 2023 known as Project Limestone. Police say investigators utilized undercover techniques to access online chatrooms and social media applications designed for children in order to identify, locate and arrest persons looking to sexually exploit children.
Police say project highlights include:
- 55 devices were seized.
- Six individuals were arrested when they showed up to a pre-set location to meet with the investigators posing as children online.
- Two individuals set up meetings with the undercover investigators who were posing as mothers with young children.
- Some of the accused arrived with candy, toys and sexual paraphernalia.
- One of the arrested is a repeat offender who was out on bail at the time of their arrest.
The OPP, North Bay Police Service, Greater Sudbury Police Service, Durham Regional Police Service, York Regional Police and Peel Regional Police, along with the Ontario’s Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet police partners, have noted a significant increase in the number of calls for service. Luring offenders often target a multitude of victims at the same time. Predators go where children go; it is imperative that parents and caregivers are aware of what their children do online.
Here is a list of people charged: