An Alberta man who police said would be left alone with children in his care is facing several charges related to child pornography.
The investigation began in July 2018 after the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams‘ Internet Child Exploitation Unit received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploitated Children that an unknown Alberta man was uploading child pornography via social media.
On Feb. 9, Royal “Mac” Olsen was arrested from at his home in Donnelly, Alta.
ALERT said the 52-year-old was a children’s relief caregiver.
According to a statement from Alberta Children’s Services, relief caregivers provide “brief, temporary care for a child or youth when foster or kinship caregivers are away. This can include providing care overnight, for a weekend, or sometimes longer.”
The care can be provided in the child’s home, or at the caregivers’ residence.
These type of caregivers undergo screening including child intervention record checks, criminal record checks and completing other information the caseworker requires like references and contact information.
A relief caregiver is not an approved foster caregiver, so they do not require a license and do not undergo additional screening and assessment.
“Our top priority is the safety and well-being of children, and we take these cases extremely seriously,” government spokesperson Benjamin Lof said in a statement to 630 CHED. “We cannot speak to the specifics of this case as the investigation is ongoing.
“We will continue to work with police to support the investigation and provide any supports needed for children, caregivers and families.”
Police said there is no evidence to suggest any of the children Olsen cared for were allegedly victimized, but a number of computers and electronic devices were seized. A full forensic examination is underway.
Olsen has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.
Donnelly is about 425 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. Alberta Children’s Services continue to assist in the investigation, ALERT said.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.