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Seven Men From Local Communities Face Child Pornography Charges

Seven people from communities including Stratford, Owen Sound, Walkerton, Formosa, and Fordwich are facing charges connected to police investigations into child pornography.

An eighth man faces drug charges.

Provincial police say the OPP’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit executed 10 search warrants across the province and arrested eight people, laying 36 charges. Police say some of the accused have past convictions for child pornography and sexual offences against children.

The first investigation involved an online, undercover investigation. The OPP Digital Forensics Unit and Stratford Police helped search a home in the city on February 5 where computers were seized. Images of child sexual abuse were found on the computers.

Ernest Jordan Hesse, 35, was charged with one count of possession of child pornography, one count of accessing child pornography, and one count of making child pornography available.

In a separate investigation, Huron OPP along with the OPP’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit and Digital Forensics Unit searched a Fordwich home on February 6, following a tip on social media about an unknown person uploading an image of child sexual abuse to the internet. Police seized computers with images of child sexual abuse.

David Harold Banks, 49, is charged with two counts of possession of child pornography, one count of accessing child pornography and one count of making child pornography available.

As police were searching the Fordwich home they also found stolen property and illegal drugs.

A 23-year-old man is facing a number of drug and property offences.

The following day, February 7th, the OPP’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit and Digital Forensics Unit teamed up with officers from the South Bruce OPP Detachment and searched a home in Formosa. This investigation also began with online, undercover work. Computers were seized from the home and police found child pornography stored on them. Daniel Bruce Davidson, 47, of Formosa is charged with possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography and making child pornography available.

That same day, police searched a home in Walkerton following a similar online, undercover investigation. They seized computers and charged Justin A. Campbell, 31, of Walkerton, not to be confused with Justin Edward Campbell (Owner of Rustic Rusty’s Painting and Design), with three counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of making child pornography available.

Earlier this year, in January, officers with Sûreté du Quebec identified someone they say was trying to have sex with two girls, ages six and eight. The OPP were contacted and the Child Exploitation Unit along with Orangeville police searched a home in Orangeville on February 7.

During the search, they seized computers with images of child sexual abuse and arrested Christopher M. Robinson, 40, of Orangeville. He’s charged with two counts of agreement to commit a sexual offence against a person under 16 years; two counts of invitation to sexual touching a person under 16 years; one count of possession of child pornography; one count of accessing child pornography; and one count of making child pornography available.

Also in January, the OPP’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit was contacted by the US Department of Homeland Security in Buffalo, New York. An agent identified a group of people exchanging videos and images over the internet of children being sexually abused. The OPP, along with Owen Sound police searched a home on February 15 in Owen Sound.

Jacob Robert Baker, 29, of Owen Sound is charged with two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.

And on February 22, the Child Sexual Exploitation Unit, Digital Forensics Unit, Oxford County OPP, and St. Thomas police searched a home in Kintore. Police had gotten a tip that someone was in possession of child pornography. During the search, two computers were seized and images of child sexual abuse were found on both.

Lee David James Hughes, 36, is charged with two counts of possession of child pornography, one count of accessing child pornography, one count of breaching probation, one count of breaching a court order and one count of possession of cannabis marijuana.

In releasing details of the investigations, provincial police are recommending parents visit the Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s website to find information on how to keep kids safe online.