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Former Kelowna resident charged with child sexual exploitation; police look for more victims

Jonathon Karl Bruenig is facing child luring and pornography charges. Supplied: ALERT

A Grande Prairie, Alta. man is facing charges for child luring and for making and distributing child pornography, and police believe there may be more victims across Canada and Australia.

Investigators with the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams’ (ALERT) Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit said the man used a number of names online, often posing as a teenage girl, to lure teenage boys.

“He was using the names of innocent third parties to construct these personas,” Cpl. Dave Knight with the ICE Unit said.

READ MORE: Red Deer man charged with child porn offences; police seek more possible victims

Police believe the conversations progressed from sexual chats to sharing explicit photos and videos. They say the man also tried to arrange meetings with the boys.

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“We don’t know what happened once these pictures and videos were given to the suspect,” Knight said.

“Often pictures and videos can stay on the internet in cyberspace forever so, it can cause the victims to be re-victimized over and over again.”

The investigation began at the end of November 2017, after a victim’s relative told police a man lured and attempted to sexually assault a Grande Prairie boy. So far, two victims in their teens have been identified.

“The investigation mainly involved Facebook profiles, but we would encourage parents to be vigilant in monitoring their children’s activity on all social media platforms, because predators don’t just choose one platform,” Knight said.

READ MORE: Central Alberta father charged with porn, sexual assault involving his daughter, 3

Jonathon Karl Bruenig, 34, was arrested on Jan. 23. He is charged with two counts each of child luring, making child pornography, distributing child pornography and possessing child pornography.

Bruenig has ties to the Northwest Territories, northern British Columbia and Australia. He has lived in the Grande Prairie and Kelowna areas and has been involved with a number of junior hockey teams.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to call 780-509-3363 or to submit information anonymously online.

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