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Four young men face child porn charges

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NEWS RELEASE

SAULT STE. MARIE POLICE SERVICE

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Beginning in June 2017 officers with the Investigation Services Division and Technological Crime Unit of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service along with High School Liaison Officers began an investigation into the exploitation of young persons via the internet. The investigation involved four male accused persons and several female victims from Sault Ste. Marie, that were all under 18 years of age.

Through various platforms, the suspects obtained nude digital images of the victims that were transferred via the internet. The suspects created an online sharing account and uploaded the nude images of the victims to that account. This allowed the images to be accessed by persons as far away as the United Kingdom.

On Oct. 20, 2017 the four males were arrested and charged with;

  • Possession of child pornography Section,
  • Making child pornography available; and,
  • Non-consensual distribution of intimate images

All four were held for bail court and the investigation is ongoing. 

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to have positive conversations with their teenagers about internet safety.

Some key messages to focus on when discussing internet safety with your children include;

  • Teaching them about healthy relationships. Remind your teens that pressure from a boyfriend/girlfriend to engage in sexual conversations or share sexual images/videos does not constitute a healthy relationship,
  • Explain the importance of establishing and respecting personal boundaries when using technology,
  • Let them know that the information that they have shared and the information others have shared with them is private and should be handled with respect. Emphasize that this privacy continues to apply even when a relationship has come to an end,
  • Discuss the types of problems that may arise from sharing private and intimate information like images and videos electronically,
  • Let them know that once intimate images or other information are sent via the internet they cannot be taken back,
  • Ensure that they understand that it is illegal to distribute intimate images of someone without their consent, and it is never lawful to distribute or share intimate images of a person under the age of 18.

If you have any information regarding these crimes, or any other crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 705-942-7867 or 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), submit an e-tip from the Crime Stoppers' website at www.saultcrimestoppers.com or text keyword SSM with your tip to 274637.

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