Calgary… An ALERT Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) investigation has stopped the sexual abuse of a young child in Airdire, Alta. A 26-year-old man has been charged.
The arrest took place on January 19, 2023 after ICE executed a search warrant at a home in Airdrie. Investigators were led to the home after receiving information about an unknown suspect uploading suspected child sexual exploitation materials via social media platforms.
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, 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 is also involved.
The suspect’s name is not being released in order to protect the identity of the victim.
The suspect is scheduled to appear in court on February 16, 2023 and has been charged with:
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.
Last year ICE units in Alberta rescued 59 children from sexual exploitation, abuse, and/or luring.
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.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.