A 50-year-old Edmonton man has been arrested and charged after allegedly sexually assaulting “two young children that were known” to him.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s (ALERT) Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit made the arrest on May 18.
Gerald Kenneth Steed, 50, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference, two counts of sexual exploitation, two counts of making child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Police said it was an older sister of one of those children who noticed something and told her parents.
Cpl. Cameron Dunn said the arrest “would not have happened if it weren’t for the brave actions of an 11-year old sibling of this child.
The younger sister was seven years old, Dunn said. Edmonton police notified ALERT and ICE began investigating.
“As a result of that information, the ICE unit conducted an examination of an electronic device, which resulted in evidence supporting the child’s allegation.”
READ MORE: Child sexual exploitation in Canada: survivors reveal terrifying reality
After the 50-year-old was arrested and interviews conducted, “a second child victim was identified,” Dunn said.
“Both those children have been assisted by the Zebra unit in Edmonton and are doing very well.”
Dunn didn’t provide the age of the second child and said the two families are not connected.
Police said the man allegedly sexually assaulted the two children “in two separate instances,” ALERT said in a news release Wednesday. The children are believed to have been assaulted “on a number of occasions,” police said.
The accused “can be described as a family friend of the victims and was frequently used to babysit.”
ALERT said the alleged offences date back well over a year. Dunn said investigators found a pattern of behaviour that dates back up to 20 years.
He said the accused has a “lengthy criminal record” but no sexual offence convictions.
READ MORE: Edmonton man charged with sexual assault against family members
Investigators are looking into the possibility that there may be other victims in Edmonton. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact local police or cybertip.ca.
Steed remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court on June 12.
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