Canadians arrested during worldwide investigation into online child sex abuse

Canadians arrested during worldwide investigation into online child sex abuse

37-year-old Paul Edward Acton Bowen was arrested yesterday and charged with second-degree sodomy, enticing a child to enter a vehicle or house for immoral purposes, and second-degree sex abuse of a minor.

Toronto police say the 2014 discovery of an online group allegedly involved in the sexual abuse of children has led to 153 arrests and numerous convictions in multiple countries and jurisdictions, including Canada. Myron Demkiw said the project took a significant toll on investigators, but was essential both for the safety of the affected children and the knowledge of the public at large.

Blackadar said that arrest led police to others involved in the distribution of child abuse material and Project Mercury was launched as perpetrators in other Canadian provinces, across the US and in Europe were identified.

The abuser was identified in Pennsylvania and within hours, the child was rescued by USA authorities, she said, adding several participants were also identified in the US and the United Kingdom.

Graham Ellis of the U.K's National Crime Agency told reporters that many of those arrested as part of the investigation were people who had occupied positions of trust.

"The offender also was inviting members of this community to attend and engage in the sexual abuse of this child by drugging the child with narcotics to facilitate the abuse", Blackadar said.

"Users commented amongst themselves, as well as directing the abuser", Blackadar said.

Thirty-four-year-old Kenneth Bowman of Saskatoon was convicted of six counts, including sexual assault, administering a noxious thing and making arrangements to commit a sexual offence against a child.

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Police say within hours the child was rescued and the abuser was caught in Pennsylvania. The news release Thursday names 14 Canadians, seven from Toronto.

In recounting the details, Toronto Police Staff-Supt.

"But it very important that we talk about it", he said.

Moore was sentenced to nine years in prison and placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Melissa Ruiz, attaché for Homeland Security Investigations in Ottawa, commended everyone involved in Project Mercury, adding their efforts have led to the arrests of approximately 58 suspected predators in the U.S.

Arrests were also made throughout the U.S.as well as the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium and Slovenia.

Blackadar said the pornographic material was being distributed around the world "using various social networking platforms".

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