A central Alberta woman is facing multiple charges in connection with the sexual abuse of her four-year-old son.
The boy was allegedly sexually abused by the 43-year-old Red Deer, Alta. woman, who is not being named to protect the identity of the child.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) launched an investigation in late May after being contacted by the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Unit (ICAC), indicating they believed a child in Alberta was being sexually abused.
According to ALERT, photos of the victim’s abuse were sent over email.
“It is far more rare to have a female offender on their child,” ALERT Insp. Dave Dubnyk said at a news conference Thursday.
Dubnyk said investigators do not know how long the abuse may have gone on for. He does not think there are other children in the home.
“ALERT can confirm that the child is safe, he is no longer with his mother, and supports are being offered,” an ALERT news release said.
The accused was arrested at a licensed daycare facility in Red Deer on Wednesday, where she was employed. She has since been released with strict condition to not contact the child, who Dubnyk said is currently staying with family.
ALERT said it does not believe any offences involved children from the daycare. Officers do not believe any of the offences were committed at the daycare. The daycare is not being named by police, but ALERT said parents of children enrolled in the facility have been notified.
The daycare operator is cooperating with Child and Family Services as they investigate, according to ALERT.
The accused has been charged with several offences including:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual exploitation
- Making child pornography
- Distributing child pornography
- Possessing child pornography
- Accessing child pornography
Charges against Idaho man led to discovery of the alleged victim
It was the arrest of a man from Nampa, Idaho that is believed to have led investigators to the discovery of the alleged victim.
Peter Allen Cash, 39, is charged with nine counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
According to a posting on the Idaho government’s website, Cash was arrested on May 18 for possession of child pornography. He was arrested after ICAC conducted a search of his home and computer.
“The investigation began after investigators received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children,” the post said. “Officials expedited their investigation and arrest after learning that Cash intended to leave the United States this week and move to Canada.”
Dubnyk said they do not believe Cash was in a relationship with the accused, but he did confirm they had reason to believe he was planning to come to Canada.
Cash is being held in the Canyon County Jail. He also has child pornography possession charges pending in Missouri.
Sheldon Kennedy ‘not surprised’ by charges
Former NHLer and abuse survivor Sheldon Kennedy said Thursday these types of charges “aren’t uncommon.”
“Sadly enough I’m not surprised,” Kennedy said. “I think the reality is, these types of cases happen way too often.”
Kennedy also serves as the lead director of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.
“Forty-seven per cent of the cases that come through our doors, kids are abused by by a parent or caregiver,” Kennedy added. “It’s not just a male-dominant crime.”
“When kids are abused, early childhood trauma that comes from the abuse and so-forth makes up over eighty per cent of mental health issues in this country.”
For more information about to how recognize signs of child abuse, please visit the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre website at www.sheldonkennedycac.ca.
– With files from Vinesh Pratap