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3 men facing charges in Brantford police child pornography investigation

Police have arrested a pair of Brantford men and another from Etobicoke in connection with a child pornography investigation in Brant County. Global News

Two more men have been charged in a Brantford police (BPS) child pornography initiative that has seen three arrests since being launched in 2021.

So far, detectives with the city’s internet child exploitation (ICE) unit have seized 48 devices, including cellphones and computers, containing illicit material for Project Dilemma.

That provincially funded campaign started last October amid increasing concern over pornography tied to youth appearing on social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.

“Social media apps like Snapchat have increased access to youth and, when combined with the global reach and anonymity these online platforms provide possible offenders, the potential for abuse exists,” BPS Insp. Kevin Reeder said in a statement on Thursday.

Homes on Marlborough, William and Darling streets as well as Tollgate Road and another residence in Etobicoke have been tied to the recent exploitation unit searches.

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One of the men, 45, resided in Brantford. The other, 19, was working out of a home in Etobicoke. Both are facing a count of possession of child pornography.

A 22-year-old was the first charged in early February with possession and a count of failure to comply with a judicial release order.

“Investigators allege that the suspects utilized their social media accounts to send images and video to other users,” investigators said in a release.

“This content included children, some as young a two-years old, being sexually assaulted.”

The RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Centre says it receives as many as 500 new files a day across Canada.

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Cybertip.ca, which is run by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, has seen a 120 per cent increase in reports of children being victimized online compared with pre-pandemic rates.

Brantford police say the “sheer volume, global reach, and anonymity” in exploitation investigations continues to be a challenge for the ICE unit.

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More charges in the probe are expected, according to detectives.

 

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