Supposed Edmonton Photographer Charged with Child Exploitation Offences

Edmonton… Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) has charged an Edmonton man with a variety of child exploitation offences after he allegedly posed as a professional photographer and took nude photographs of an underage girl.

William Swanson, 36, was arrested following two separate investigations by ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation unit, in partnership with Edmonton Police Service, RCMP, and National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre. Swanson was arrested on May 26 and has remained in custody since that time. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 17.

In one investigation Swanson allegedly posed as a professional photographer to befriend and take nude photographs of a 16-year-old Edmonton girl. In another investigation, he allegedly shared child sexual exploitation images over the internet from a Fort McMurray work camp.

ALERT is releasing the accused’s photo with the hope of encouraging other possible victims to come forward. Anyone who may have additional information on this or any other child exploitation offence is encouraged to contact their local police, Crime Stoppers or

The parallel investigations crossed paths in April 2015 when the 16-year-old victim discovered child sexual exploitation images on a laptop provided by Swanson, and she contacted police.

The 16-year-old was an aspiring model who met the accused through an advertisement she placed on Kijiji looking for modeling work. Swanson allegedly presented himself as a professional photographer and had the victim sign a series of fake contractual agreements. Over a series of several meetings and photo shoots, Swanson is accused of taking nude photos of the girl.

Swanson’s home and vehicle were searched on May 26 and a number of electronic devices and modeling contracts were seized. He has been charged with:

  • Making child pornography (x 4);
  • Make available child pornography;
  • Possess child pornography;
  • Make sexually explicit material available to a child.

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. Members of Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Regional Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.