4 Peterborough and area men among 107 arrested for child sexual exploitation in October

A joint operation called project Maverick is presenting results on Wednesday following a month of pursuing various child exploitation cases. Our crime specialist Catherine McDonald has more from Toronto Police Headquarters.

Four men from the Peterborough area were among 107 charged in October following extensive child exploitation investigations by OPP and other police services in Ontario.

On Wednesday, the OPP released the results of investigations completed in October as part of Project Maverick. The OPP and 27 policing partners — including the Peterborough Police Service — said the project included 277 investigations with 168 search warrants conducted and 1,032 devices seized.

In total, 428 charges were laid against 107 people. A full list of the individuals charged can be found here.

In the Peterborough area, the following arrests were made:

  • A Peterborough man (name withheld), 32, was charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. He was released on bail with conditions with his next court appearance on Dec. 6.
  • Kalin Armstrong, 33, of Peterborough was charged with making available child pornography, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography and accessing child pornography. His next court date is Dec. 14.
  • Zachary Perrott, 24, of Port Hope, was charged with two counts of possession of child pornography. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 30.
  • Ian Berger, 43, of Trent Hills was charged with possession of child pornography. OPP said he had a court appearance on Nov. 23.

OPP say during the 277 investigations, 61 victims were identified and referred to “appropriate community-based resources for assistance.” Another 60 children were safeguarded.

There are 175 ongoing investigations where additional charges may be laid, police noted.

The investigation is part of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet. The group also includes the Ontario ministries of the attorney general and solicitor general.

“These numbers are shocking, but they provide hope by showing the lengths our teams are willing to go to protect children,” said OPP Chief Supt. Kari Dart. “I would like to express gratitude for the hard work of the Provincial Strategy members, and our partners, in keeping children in this province safe and holding those who want to harm them accountable.”

OPP Det. Sgt. Jamie King, lead with the provincial strategy, says work by its members takes them to “some of the darkest corners of society and exposes the horrific crimes committed every day against children.”

“This is not a crime that can be combatted by our members alone and we ask that everyone out there recognize the importance they play in protecting children,” he said. “Report these crimes, remain vigilant and educate yourself.”

The investigations continue and anyone with information on these or any child exploitation investigations is asked to contact their local police. Report any instances of online child abuse to police or cybertip.ca. Police say if a child is being harmed, call 911.

Since the provincial strategy began in 2006, it has completed 65,564 investigations and laid 24,608 charges against 6,540 people. Worldwide, 3,470 victims have been identified, police say.

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