Douglas Sean Richards
CityNews.ca - December 8, 2010
An investigation that brought together 13 Canadian police forces, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a number of other security outfits worldwide has ended in 57 arrests, including 25 in Canada.
Project Sanctuary began in November of last year when – after an undercover operation – a 50-year-old man was convicted of trading images and videos over the Internet of children being sexually abused.
The arrest uncovered a global network of men, now accused of trading in child porn and, in some cases, abusing children themselves.
“This operation is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through cooperative police work between the U.S. and Canada,” said Tom Blanchard, Canadian attaché at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations.
“Nothing is more important than our combined efforts to prevent the exploitation of our children. ICE and the Toronto Police Service have an outstanding relationship and routinely work together on investigations involving criminal activity that affects both our nations.”
The 57 men charged so far face a total of 218 charges. In the United States, 26 men face 56 charges; in Canada, 25 men face 131 charges; and in Europe, six men face 31 charges.
Twenty-five children have been rescued: 10 in the U.S., 12 in Canada, and three in Europe.
"We believe the youngest (victim) to be 4, but in our investigations...we are seeing younger and younger victims and it's not just girls it's boys as well," said Det. Paul Krawczyk, Child Exploitation Section.
"We're out there to tell them (perpetrators) they are not safe, and we will go after them and find them all. You look in these childrens' eyes everyday, how can you not go to every length to stop it?"
The Canadian men charged with child porn offences are:
The following Canadian men have been convicted:
1. Robin Barrett, 51, of Conception Bay South, Newfoundland
2. Randall Philip Steininger, 21, of Regina, Saskatchewan
3. Douglas Sean Richards, 46, of Richmond Hill