EDMONTON – A 35-year-old teacher’s assistant – and resident of Fort McMurray – is accused of 10 child exploitation related offences.
Russell Hancock works in a public school in Fort McMurray, however police say the two victims did not attend the school he works at.
“At this time, it does not appear that these incidents occurred as a result of his position as a teacher’s assistant or at the schools where he worked,” said Sgt. Mike Lokken.
Hancock is facing a list of charges, including making and distributing child pornography, sexual exploitation, and sexual assault.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) say the alleged incidents involve two elementary school-aged children and happened within the past 10 months.
Officers say Hancock knew the families involved in some way.
“The offender is known to these people,” said Lokken.
“It’s not a case of him snatching these kids or the offender being completely unknown to the families or the victims.”
“There’s indication that the families are familiar with the accused. As far as the actual relationship between them and how those relationships formed, we’re still looking into the intricacies of those,” explained Lokken.
Investigators also believe there could be other victims.
Alberta officials started investigating after receiving information from the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre in Ottawa and the United States Department of Homeland Security.
A search warrant was executed at Hancock’s home and several computers and electronic devices were seized for analysis.
More charges are pending as a result of the items found during that search and seizure.
He is scheduled to appear in an Edmonton courtroom on April 28.
© Shaw Media, 2014