August 1, 2017 12:00 pm
Updated: August 1, 2017 7:25 pm

Edmonton man charged with child porn offences, extortion after mom of teen boy calls police

WATCH ABOVE: Police arrested a 33-year-old man in northwest Edmonton and charged him with sexually exploiting teenage boys. As Sarah Kraus reports, police fear there may be more victims.

A A

A 33-year-old Edmonton man has been charged with a number of child exploitation offences, including sexual assault, in connection to alleged incidents involving two teenage boys.

ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit began its investigation after the mother of a teenage boy came forward to police with information about sexually graphic messages that were exchanged online. ALERT said the messages went on for several months and the relationship became sexual.

Story continues below

“When the hairs on the back of her neck stood up, she took steps to figure out why,” Det. Brian Cross said.

“Her son later disclosed the relationship was more than just online contact,” Cross said. “This case is troubling. It leads me to believe a young man was groomed.”

Police said offences involving a second teenage boy were committed online. Cross also said both boys, who were under 16, are currently receiving support and will need that support for years.

Late last week, a residence in north Edmonton was searched and police seized multiple electronic devices. Preliminary forensic analysis of the electronics identified child pornography images, police said.

Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe was arrested and charged with:

  • Luring to commit the making of child pornography (x2)
  • Luring to commit an offence against a child
  • Sexual interference
  • Invitation to sexual touching
  • Sexual assault
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Extortion

Cross said the extortion charge is related to photos being used as leverage to get other images.

ALERT said Coulombe “purports to be and identifies himself in public as a member of the Catholic clergy, but he has no affiliation with the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton or any other diocese in Canada or the United States.”

Lorraine Turchansky, with the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, said it is disturbing to think the suspect was posing as a member of the church.

“The man who has been charged in this incident has never studied for the priesthood at St. Joseph’s seminary here, he has never been ordained as a priest in the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton nor is he on any official list of priests in Canada or the United States. So clearly, he is an imposter,” she said.

“In the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, we have some very strict protocols about screening and abuse prevention that all our priests go through, and for that matter all our lay employees, as well. So people in our parishes are very, very aware of warning signs to look for should there be someone who is a possible abuser or offender in our parishes.”

Turchansky urged people to call the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton or search its website if they feel someone might be posing as a member of the church.

Watch below: Investigators provide details about a man accused of several child pornography offences who presented himself as a member of the Catholic church but who the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton called “an imposter.”

Cross said while this is the first time he’s investigated a case involving a suspect allegedly “impersonating a priest,” he’s heard of people impersonating other positions of power, like police officers.  However, he said investigators don’t believe the accused committed the alleged crimes “under the guise” of being a priest.

Coulombe moved to Edmonton from Langley, B.C., at the beginning of 2017, ALERT said in a media release Tuesday morning. Investigators believe there may be more victims in this case and ask anyone with information to call police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Police are hoping to speak with anyone in Langley or Edmonton who can provide relevant information on the accused.

Coulombe was released on a number of conditions. His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 21.

— With files from Emily Mertz

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Comments closed.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on globalnews.ca, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Please see our Commenting Policy for more.