Edmonton Teen Charged in Online Sextortion

Edmonton… An Edmonton teenager has been arrested and charged following a case of online sextortion. ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation team alleges that the suspect extorted nude photos from an Edmonton teenage girl via social media.

Edmonton’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) team arrested the 16-year-old Edmonton male on August 10 and charged him with extortion, possession of child pornography, and luring. ICE is an integrated team consisting of Edmonton Police and RCMP members.

The case dates back to April 2016 when the 16-year-old female victim was befriended on social media and pressured into sending nude photos. The victim was allegedly threatened into complying, and further threatened that if she did not continue to send nude photos she would be exposed to friends and family members.

Eventually the victim contacted Cybertip.ca to report the offence. The investigation was referred to ICE in June and investigators were able to identify the suspect, who had been using fictitious online aliases.

The suspect and victim were not known to each other. ICE is investigating the possibility of additional victims.

“Today’s youth are facing unprecedented challenges when navigating their online world,” says Signy Arnason, Director of Cybertip.ca.  “Parents need to use these real life examples to openly discuss these risks and help ensure the safety of their kids”.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection offers reminders for youth who may be dealing with online blackmail or extortion:

  • Never comply with the threat;
  • Stop all forms of communication with the individual (block from accounts);
  • Deactivate all accounts used to communicate with the individual;
  • Speak to a safe adult about what is happening;
  • Contact Cybertip.ca or police. 

Parents are reminded to discuss online activity with their children, and if their children are being blackmailed or extorted online, to contact local police. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has also created a “Resource Guide for Families” to assist parents in adequately responding to these types of incidents: https://www.cybertip.ca/app/en/internet_safety-self_peer_exploitation