A 48-year-old former teacher from Kitchener, Ont., faces an additional sex offence charge related to a young girl and police say they believe there may be more victims.
Geoffrey Burnet was charged with eight other people in southern Ontario last month, following an investigation police said was triggered by the sexual assault of a seven-year-old girl who was being made available for sexual services on Craigslist.
“It’s a very unique case because we’re not used to a victimization of this nature — it’s really graphic,” Dunbar told The Canadian Press last month.
“It’s one of the worst, most heinous crimes we’ve seen because we’ve got multiple offenders and one young victim.”
Burnet was initially charged by Waterloo police with making and possessing child pornography, then re-arrested by Hamilton police and further charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching in September.
Hamilton police announced Friday that another young girl had come forward and Burnet has since been charged with an additional count of sexual exploitation.
Burnet is a former teacher with Columbia International College, Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board, Upper Grand Distric School Board and the Toronto District School Board.
Investigators were alerted to the sexual assault by the Catholic Children’s Aid Society on May 3. Police said they interviewed the seven-year-old girl that day and arrested her mother’s boyfriend later that night.
The 34-year-old Hamilton man, who police did not identify to protect the identity of the child, faced close to 40 charges including sexual assault, sexual interference and making and possessing child pornography.
The girl’s mother was also charged with failing to provide the necessities of life. Officers then raided their home and seized several items including electronics.
“This young female victim had been sexually assaulted by more than one person and she was also being made available to be sexually assaulted by others through Craigslist,” Hamilton Police Det.-Sgt. David Dunbar said during a press conference Nov. 17.
“This work requires sensitivity and time, it is about supporting victims and intervening before there are additional victims,” added Hamilton Police Chief Eric Girt. “It remains a tragedy.”
Investigators said they then discovered another young girl, the 16-year-old sister of the seven-year-old girl, had also been sexually assaulted by more than one person.
Police expanded the investigation, dubbed “Project Links,” and joined forces with police forces in Niagara, Waterloo, Chatham-Kent, Hamilton and the Ontario Provincial Police to execute 14 raids, 15 production orders and seized more than 100 electronic devices.
Burnet was also further charged after police said they also discovered a link to a historic sexual assault case in Hamilton unrelated to Project Links.
Anyone with further information in relation to any sexual assault occurrences involving Burnet are encouraged to contact Det.-Michelle Wiley at (905) 546-3856 or Crime Stoppers at 1(800) 222-8477.
With files from The Canadian Press and Leslie Whyte