Another child rescued, Alberta mom faces new charges in connection with child sex abuse probe

Click to play video: 'Second child rescued in sex abuse case; Edmonton dad arrested and Sherwood Park mom facing more charges'
Second child rescued in sex abuse case; Edmonton dad arrested and Sherwood Park mom facing more charges
WARNING: GRAPHIC DETAILS. A second child has been rescued in an ALERT sexual exploitation investigation in which an Edmonton father and Strathcona County mother are accused of bonding over the shared abuse of their own children for a sexual purpose. Quinn Ohler reports. – Mar 9, 2023

WARNING: This story contains graphic and disturbing content

UPDATE: On Nov. 10, 2023, the woman accused pleaded guilty to several charges including sexual assault, making, printing and publishing child pornography, possessing child pornography, and distributing child pornography. 

An Alberta mother already accused of sexually exploiting her own child is now facing additional charges in connection with a child sex abuse investigation.

In a news release issued Thursday, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) said its internet child exploitation (ICE) unit rescued another child in connection with the investigation on Feb. 9.

They said the child is “school-aged” and was removed from their father in Edmonton.

“The 36-year-old father has been charged with a number of child exploitation offences,” ALERT said. “The father had allegedly been conversing online with a 35-year-old Strathcona County woman, whom ICE had charged earlier in the month for child exploitation offences committed against their own toddler-aged child.

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“These new offences were uncovered during a preliminary forensic analysis of computers seized from the Strathcona County woman.”

Last month, when charges were first laid against the mother, ALERT said her toddler had been taken from her and that the child was being supported by organizations that work with sexual abuse victims.

ALERT said the forensic analysis is still in “its early stages” but has also led to new charges against the Strathcona County woman.

There is a publication ban on the woman in order to protect the identity of the children.

READ MORE: Strathcona County mother charged with international sexual exploitation of her toddler

The new charges against the woman include sexual assault, making child pornography and sexual exploitation. In total, she now faces 24 charges.

The father arrested in Edmonton also faces charges including sexual assault, making child pornography and sexual exploitation.

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At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Sgt. Kerry Shima with ALERT’s ICE unit told reporters “this case is disturbing.”

“It is the belief of our investigators and forensic technicians that the accused was sharing this abuse and glamourizing his actions in an online conversation with the accused from Strathcona County,” he said.

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“The messages that have been discovered lead us to believe they bonded of their shared abuse of their own children for a sexual purpose.”

Shima added that the new charges the woman faces are partly connected to the abuse experienced by the child that was recently apprehended. However, he noted some of the charges relate to the investigation of the treatment of her own child as well.

He said investigators now believe her child “”was being sexually assaulted as an infant.”

Shima added that investigators believe the two accused communicated through WhatsApp.

The mother has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court in Sherwood Park, Alta., on March 22. The father who was arrested has also been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court on March 21.

Click to play video: 'Strathcona County mother charged with sexual exploitation of her toddler'
Strathcona County mother charged with sexual exploitation of her toddler

“ICE’s investigation is still in its primary stages and the unit fears they may uncover additional victims and is frantically combing through digital evidence to explore the possibility of other children at risk,” ALERT said.

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“Both children are receiving help from a variety of specialized support services, including Zebra Centre for Child Protection and the Edmonton Police Services’ child at risk response team.

“A number of partner agencies were involved in this investigation including Strathcona County RCMP, Fort Saskatchewan RCMP, Edmonton Police Service, ALERT surveillance teams, FBI, and U.S. Homeland Security investigations.

The names of the accused have not been released in order to protect the identity of the children.

“I have been a police officer for nearly 22 years and with this unit for nearly three, and this is some of the most egregious material I have been exposed to,” Shima said at a news conference last month.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact their local police department or to report their concern anonymously at

Last month, ALERT said its investigation into the Strathcona County mother began after receiving a tip from the FBI about “prolific and ongoing sexual abuse of a young child in Alberta.”

In October in Yuba City, Calif., Brian Davis, 30, was arrested and charged “with suspicion of oral copulation with a victim under 10 years old, possession of obscene matter involving a minor in sexual acts with the intent to distribute,” said ALERT.

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ALERT said computers and electronics seized from the man led investigators to believe he was talking to an Edmonton-area woman over a messaging platform shortly before his arrest.

On Thursday, Shima said investigative work in cases like this is painstakingly difficult and noted without the initial arrest having been made, it would have been even harder to uncover the abuse being alleged in the case of the second child.

“This isn’t something that happens out in the open and it’s very difficult to infiltrate or identify… (suspects) through regular means or conversation,” he said.

Shima added that investigators are trained so they are capable of “managing what they see on a day-to-day basis,” but added this case has been particularly difficult.

“If I were to say that this file didn’t bother anybody, that would be a bold lie,” he said. “This is one of the more disturbing cases for a lot of our investigators and we have a very senior team.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

If you are a victim of sexual abuse in Alberta and need help, click here to access assistance. 


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