WARNING: The content in this article may be disturbing to some readers.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams announced Thursday that a teenager who has connections to Alberta and British Columbia has been arrested and charged with child pornography offences in connection with a child sexual exploitation investigation.
In the same news release, ALERT said it was trying to identify a young girl who investigators believe was sexually assaulted. In an attempt to identify the girl, who is believed to be between six and 10 years old, ALERT released an image of a bedroom that they say investigators found on the accused’s cellphone.
The accused, who is 16, has been charged with possessing child pornography, accessing child pornography and transmitting child pornography. The teen has not been charged with sexual assault.
ALERT said investigators believe the bedroom is where the assault took place. The image released by law enforcement officials is partly blacked out.
“Our hope is that someone recognizes this crime scene and can help locate our victim,” said Sgt. Kerry Shima of ALERT’s internet child exploitation unit (ICE).
“We believe this victim has suffered extensively and want to provide them with the support they deserve.”
Because the suspect in the case is only 16, they cannot be named as per the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Police have not said if the accused is a boy or girl but said they were arrested on Aug. 17 and that investigators believe the 16-year-old youth and the young girl know each other.
“At the time of their arrest the suspect was living in Bon Accord, Alta., which is located approximately 30 kilometres north of Edmonton,” ALERT said. “The suspect may have lived at various locations in the Edmonton area and has also recently lived on the east coast of Vancouver Island near Nanaimo and Ladysmith.
“ICE is limited in what information can be provided in order to protect the suspect’s identity under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. A full forensic analysis is underway of computers and electronic devices seized from the suspect.”
ALERT said investigators believe child exploitation materials connected with their investigation were uploaded via the social media platform Discord.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the following numbers, depending on where they live:
– in the Edmonton area, the Edmonton Police Service’s non-emergency line at 780-423-4567;
– in the Nanaimo area, Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345;
– in the Ladysmith area, Ladysmith RCMP at 250-245-2215.
People can also anonymously submit tips through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477.
ICE investigator on internet child exploitation and safety tips
&© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
View original article here Source