Published May 8, 2024

3 Simcoe County residents among dozens charged in OPP child sexual exploitation investigation

Barrie man arrested in bar fight at Wasaga beach; loaded handgun confiscated
Barrie man arrested in bar fight at Wasaga beach; loaded handgun confiscated

A 10-day child sexual exploitation investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police in February has resulted in 64 people being arrested and over 300 charges laid in an operation called Project Aquatic.

Police announced the details at a news conference in Toronto on Wednesday.

More than 600 electronic devices were seized. The suspects range in age from 16 to 89.

Three of the accused are from Simcoe County including a 38-year-old Collingwood woman who has been charged with possession of child pornography, making child pornography, sexual interference and arranging to meet a child to commit a sexual offence. A 55-year-old man from Oro Medonte has been charged with two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of making child pornography available, and a 70-year-old Wasaga Beach man has been charged with two counts of possession of child pornography.

“Our collective strength lies in our ongoing commitment to protect children from the impacts of sexual exploitation,” said OPP Commissioner Carrique.

OPP Staff Sergeant Tim Brown called child sexual exploitation a grave crime with lasting effects.

“We’re dedicated to prevention and accountability. We need everyone’s support to combat this community issue. If you see something, report it,” said Brown. “Together, we can create a safer environment for all children, ensuring their well-being and protection.”

 As a result of Project Aquatic:

  • 34 victims were identified
  • 30 children were safeguarded
  • 64 people were charged
  • 348 charges were laid
  • 607 electronic devices were seized

Members of the public are invited to learn about how to keep children safe at Canadian Centre for Child Protection or cybertip.ca.

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