Investigators desperately trying to identify victim in Alberta child sexual assault case

WARNING: Some of the details in this article may be disturbing to some readers.

Charges have been laid against a northern Alberta man after sexually explicit materials were allegedly found on his phone.

However, the internet child exploitation (ICE) unit has been unable to identify the young victim — who they believe needs help — so they’ve turned to the public for information.

“On April 19, 2023, ICE received a report from the RCMP’s national child exploitation crime centre concerning a suspect allegedly uploading child sexual exploitation materials via the social media platform Discord,” Sgt. Kerry Shima said.

“The images were uploaded between February 2022 and April 2023. Some of the photos have never been seen before in the international child sexual exploitation database.

“These never-before-seen photos were believed to be first generation, meaning there was a probability that they were created by the person who uploaded them,” Shima explained.

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Tobias (Toby) Hooka-Nooza was arrested on April 21, on the Bushe River Reservation near High Level, Alta.

The 18-year-old is accused of sexual assault, sexual interference, making child pornography, transmitting child pornography, possession of child pornography, and accessing child pornography.

In a news release Thursday, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team said: “Some of the photos capture an alleged sexual assault of a toddler-aged child, or younger, by the accused.”

Investigators and forensic technicians have not been able to locate the victim.

“The photos would suggest the victim needs medical attention or intervention,” ALERT said.

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“It’s difficult when the kids can’t speak for themselves or can’t protect themselves,” Shima said.

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“We haven’t obtained any new information from the accused that would help advance our investigation in terms of the identification of the victims. Right now there’s also no information to lead us to believe the victim is currently in danger or is missing.

“We simply, at this point, want to know who this child is.”

ALERT said other evidence on the seized devices suggests the accused has been “in contact with numerous people under the age of 18 that may have either exploited themselves sexually, or harmed themselves.”

Anyone with information about this case, or anyone who believes their child was in the presence of Hooka-Nooza, is urged to contact High Level RCMP at 780-926-2226.

A forensic analysis of computers and electronic devices seized is still being done, ALERT said, and more charges are anticipated.

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Shima said there is a team of ICE investigators in High Level working hand in hand with RCMP there on this case.

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Hooka-Nooza was released from custody on a number of court-imposed conditions and is scheduled to appear in court on June 5, but he’s already back in custody.

“Within the last couple of hours, our unit arrested Hooka-Nooza for failing to comply with the conditions of his release,” Shima said.

Support is available for those who have been victimized: 

  • The Department of Justice Victim Services Directory includes a list of support services in your area.
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) is available 24-7 or Text CONNECT 686868

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