Hamilton Spectator
Thursday, August 7, 1997

17-year-old charged over child pornography

Police seize 2,000 images, computer

by Frances Barrick

CAMBRIDGE -- A 17-year-old Cambridge youth has been charged after police seized more than 2,000 images of graphic child pornography obtained from the Internet.

Five officers with the OPP's pornography crime unit and two Waterloo police officers went to a residence in the Galt section of Cambridge with a search warrant and seized a home computer and 143 floppy disks.

The disks contained a "substantial" amount of child pornography, OPP Detective Staff Sergeant Bob Matthews, head of the force's Project P unit, said yesterday.

The images depict "very young, prepubescent children" performing explicit sex acts with other children and adults, said Matthews, who declined to state the ages of the children.

"You can't imagine what adults will do to children for their own sexual gratification", he said.

The teen, who cannot be named under the Young Offenders Act, has been charged with possession of child pornography and two counts of distributing child pornography. He is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 8.

The arrest was the result of a two-month undercover police investigation said Matthews, who declined to give additional information about the accused in case it identifies the teen.

This is the third Cambridge man in 14 months charged with possession of child pornography obtained from the Internet.

Last February, Sydney Smith, 45, was sentenced to serve 10 months at home after he was convicted of possessing 453 images of child pornography obtained from the Internet.

In June 1996, police seized 26 films and 965 computer files from Smith's home.

And last December, Robert Horvat, 19, was charged with possession of child pornography for distribution after police seized more than 3,000 images of child pornography on a home computer. No date has been arranged for his trial.

Matthews said it is "very, very easy" to get images of child pornography off the Internet "if you know where to go to find it".

He said any person could receive and distribute thousands of images "at the stroke of a key".

Since the advent of the Internet, "there has been a proliferation of child pornography being distributed, not only in this country, but across the world".

He said his unit of eight officers is "absolutely swamped with child pornography investigations" with each case involving computers.

from Kitchener-Waterloo Record


Copyright © 1997 by Southam News. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.