On January 19, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit executed a search warrant at a home in Airdrie after investigators were led to the home after receiving information about an unknown suspect uploading suspected child sexual exploitation materials via social media platforms.
A 26-year-old Airdrie man was taken into custody as a result of the search warrant. The suspect’s name is not being released in order to protect the identity of the victim.
ICE began its investigation after receiving a referral from the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Center in October 2022. Airdrie RCMP also provided assistance with the search and arrest.
The suspect is scheduled to appear in court on February 16, and has been charged with:
- Sexual assault;
- Sexual interference;
- Invitation to sexual touching;
- Making child pornography;
- Accessing child pornography; and
- Possession of child pornography.
According to police, a number of computers and electronic devices were taken from the home and forensic technicians conducted an on-site, preliminary analysis. On the suspect’s phone, ICE technicians saw photos that appeared to depict sexual abuse against a family member.
“It was only through a timely forensic analysis that ICE investigators became aware of this child being abused. The victim’s mother was unaware, and you can appreciate the trauma this family is experiencing right now. It was a great relief to our team to end this abuse,” said Det. Erin Penner of the ALERT ICE unit.
The victim and family members are receiving help from a variety of specialized support services, including Luna Child and Youth Advocacy Centre and Airdrie Victim Services. Alberta’s Children’s services are also involved.
Anyone with information about this case or any child exploitation situation is asked to contact their local police or to report their concern anonymously at www.cybertip.ca.
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