A 28-year-old Calgary man has been charged with a number of offences including making child porn, extortion and counselling suicide after a cross-Canada investigation.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams’ Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit and the Ontario Provincial Police’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit (CSEU) coordinated on a six-month investigation where an Ontario girl reported she was sexually extorted and harassed online.
The offences date back a period of five years when the victim was 11 years old, ALERT said in a Thursday news release.
She reported receiving unsolicited messages from someone she didn’t know on various social media channels.
“The messages were both sexual and violent in nature,” ALERT said. “Initially the victim was pressured into sending sexually explicit photos, and when the victim relented, the suspect allegedly threatening to kill the victim’s family.
“Further, the suspect coerced the victim to attempt suicide.”
A suspect was identified by investigators and a Calgary home was searched on Oct. 21.
Brady Provost, 28, was arrested and charged with counselling suicide, extortion, intimidation, child luring, harassing telecommunications, uttering threats, making child pornography, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography and making explicit materials available to a child.
“This is a heart-breaking case with the victim enduring years of abuse and suffering,” said Det. Krista Mapplebeck. “It comes at a great relief to make an arrest and will undoubtedly help in the victim’s healing process.”
“While this case highlights the borderless nature of these crimes, it also sends a message to those who exploit children about the tenacity and collaboration exhibited by Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) investigators across Canada,” said Det.-Const. Cory Wilson of the OPP CSEU.
“The courage and resilience of this victim is an inspiration to all.”
A number of electronic devices were seized from Provost’s Calgary home and will be subject to expert forensic analysis, ALERT said.
Police are exploring the possibility of identifying other victims. Anyone with information about these investigations, or any child exploitation offence, is encouraged to contact local police.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.