Photo courtesy of the OPP.

OPP: 122 child pornography-related arrests in November

Provincial police are calling it a snapshot of one month’s work by officers who target child pornography.

At a news conference north of Toronto on Wednesday, the OPP said investigations during the month of November led to the arrests of 122 suspects who face a total of 551 charges. Among the 122 people arrested were 11 young people whose identities are protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The charges include sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, possession of child pornography, making child pornography available, distribution of child pornography, making child pornography, accessing child pornography, luring, and making sexually explicit material available to a child.

“It is our fundamental and moral responsibility to ensure every child grows up safe,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Rick Barnum. “On behalf of the OPP, I want to make this message very clear: We will not stand for anyone hurting our kids. We will do everything we can to reduce the threat child predators pose to our children.”

According to a video shown by police at the news conference, they identified 834 unique IP addresses associated to the possession or making available of child sexual abuse material or were present on a suspected child pornography website in November. Police say that number is the “tip of the iceberg.”

“Perpetrators of online sexual exploitation often minimize their actions by saying they were ‘just looking.’ Let me be clear: Anyone who possesses, distributes, accesses or otherwise supports the supply and demand chain for child sexual abuse images are complicit in the sexual exploitation of children,” said Staff Sergeant Sharon Hanlon, coordinator of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet.

Ten people from the London area, one from Windsor, and two from Chatham-Kent are among those who were arrested and charged in November. A full list of the suspects and the charges they face can be viewed by clicking here.