“Edmonton man charged with child porn offences, extortion after mom of teen boy calls police” & related articles

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Global News

01 August 2017

WATCH ABOVE: Police arrested a 33-year-old man in northwest Edmonton and charged him with sexually exploiting teenage boys. As Sarah Kraus reports, police fear there may be more victims.

A 33-year-old Edmonton man has been charged with a number of child exploitation offences, including sexual assault, in connection to alleged incidents involving two teenage boys.

ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit began its investigation after the mother of a teenage boy came forward to police with information about sexually graphic messages that were exchanged online. ALERT said the messages went on for several months and the relationship became sexual.

“When the hairs on the back of her neck stood up, she took steps to figure out why,” Det. Brian Cross said.

“Her son later disclosed the relationship was more than just online contact,” Cross said. “This case is troubling. It leads me to believe a young man was groomed.”

Police said offences involving a second teenage boy were committed online. Cross also said both boys, who were under 16, are currently receiving support and will need that support for years.

Late last week, a residence in north Edmonton was searched and police seized multiple electronic devices. Preliminary forensic analysis of the electronics identified child pornography images, police said.

Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe was arrested and charged with:

  • Luring to commit the making of child pornography (x2)
  • Luring to commit an offence against a child
  • Sexual interference
  • Invitation to sexual touching
  • Sexual assault
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Extortion

Cross said the extortion charge is related to photos being used as leverage to get other images.

ALERT said Coulombe “purports to be and identifies himself in public as a member of the Catholic clergy, but he has no affiliation with the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton or any other diocese in Canada or the United States.”

Lorraine Turchansky, with the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, said it is disturbing to think the suspect was posing as a member of the church.

“The man who has been charged in this incident has never studied for the priesthood at St. Joseph’s seminary here, he has never been ordained as a priest in the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton nor is he on any official list of priests in Canada or the United States. So clearly, he is an imposter,” she said.

“In the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, we have some very strict protocols about screening and abuse prevention that all our priests go through, and for that matter all our lay employees, as well. So people in our parishes are very, very aware of warning signs to look for should there be someone who is a possible abuser or offender in our parishes.”

Turchansky urged people to call the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton or search its website if they feel someone might be posing as a member of the church.

Watch below: Investigators provide details about a man accused of several child pornography offences who presented himself as a member of the Catholic church but who the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton called “an imposter.”

Cross said while this is the first time he’s investigated a case involving a suspect allegedly “impersonating a priest,” he’s heard of people impersonating other positions of power, like police officers.  However, he said investigators don’t believe the accused committed the alleged crimes “under the guise” of being a priest.

Coulombe moved to Edmonton from Langley, B.C., at the beginning of 2017, ALERT said in a media release Tuesday morning. Investigators believe there may be more victims in this case and ask anyone with information to call police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Police are hoping to speak with anyone in Langley or Edmonton who can provide relevant information on the accused.

Coulombe was released on a number of conditions. His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 21.

— With files from Emily Mertz

_______________________________________________________

Fake Catholic clergyman in Edmonton charged with sexual assault, child luring

‘This case is troubling,’ says Edmonton Det. Brian Cross

CBC News

Posted: Aug 01, 2017 11:04 AM MTLast Updated: Aug 01, 2017 2:17 PM MT

 

Fake clergyman charged with sexual assault, child luring 1:14

An Edmonton man who falsely claimed to be a member of the Catholic clergy faces sexual assault and child pornography charges in the alleged exploitation of two teenage boys.

Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe, 33, was arrested on July 27, according to a release Tuesday from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).

The investigation by ALERT’s child exploitation unit began after the mother of one boy came forward in June with information about sexually graphic messages that had been exchanged online for several months.

According to investigators, the relationship between Coulombe and the boy eventually became physical, while the alleged offences against the second boy were solely in the “online realm.”

Both boys were under the age of 16.

Edmonton's Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe

Edmonton’s Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe, pictured in this undated photograph, was arrested on July 27. (Facebook)

“This case is troubling,” Det. Brian Cross, an Edmonton police member with the child exploitation unit.

During a news conference at Edmonton’s ALERT headquarters on Tuesday, Cross said the second victim was being “sexually extorted” with graphic images.

“It leads me to believe that a young man was groomed,” he said. “There was an escalation of the actual sexual offences that were committed.”

Investigators said they do not believe that Coulombe used his false title as a priest to lure the victims in this case, but said they were concerned he may have used his false identity to victimize other children.

“Whether it’s online or in person, it’s always troubling when we see cases of adults taking advantage of young people for a sexual purpose,” Cross said.

Edmonton's Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe

Coulombe claims to be a Catholic clergyman but is not associated with any diocese in Canada, police say.

“The victims in the case will require a lot of support going forward, for many years to come, in order to cope emotionally with what’s been done to them.”

A search warrant was issued for a residence in Edmonton’s north end and multiple electronic devices, which contained pornographic images, were seized, ALERT said.

Investigators said Coulombe moved to Edmonton from Langley, B.C., at the beginning of 2017. He purports to be a member of the Catholic clergy, but has no affiliation with the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton or any other diocese in North America, Cross said.

Coulombe has an extensive online presence and his profiles were being publicly monitored by Creep-Catcher-style forums across Canada. Law officials are aware of the citzen-led investigations but could not corroborate any of their claims about Coulombe’s activity online, Cross said.

Investigators believe there may be more victims in the case. The electronic devices seized will be forensically examined for evidence of additional victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact their local police department or Crime Stoppers.

“The forensics are just beginning,” said Cross. “We have a lot of work left to do on this investigation.”

Coulombe has been charged with:

  • Luring to commit the making of child pornography.
  • Luring to commit an offence against a child.
  • Sexual interference.
  • Invitation to sexual touching.
  • Sexual assault.
  • Possession of child pornography.
  • Extortion.

Cross said the mother of one of the boys “did everything right” by contacting law enforcement as soon as the disturbing messages between her son and his alleged abuser came to light.

The case should serve as a reminder to parents that they must be vigilant in protecting their children from online predators, Cross said.

“She immediately, when the hairs on the back of her neck went up, she took steps to find out why,” he said. “As she found more and more suspicious information, the reports were made to police.

“And once that information crossed beyond being suspicious to something that would be a criminal complaint … police were already involved.”

____________________________

Man pretending to be clergy member charged with child exploitation

The Edmonton Journal

Published on: August 1, 2017 | Last Updated: August 1, 2017 4:40 PM MDT

Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe.
Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe.

Police have charged a 33-year-old man who pretended to be a member of the Catholic clergy with the exploitation of two teenage boys.

Multiple electronic devices containing child pornography images were seized at a north Edmonton home on July 27, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) told a Tuesday news conference.

The Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit launched an investigation after the mother of one of the boys alerted police to sexually graphic messages exchanged online for several months. The relationship with the boy later became sexual, police said. Offences related to a second boy were committed online.

“When the hairs on the back of her neck stood up, she took steps to figure out why,” said ICE Det. Brian Cross.

“Once that information crossed beyond a suspicion to something that would be a criminal complaint … police were already involved.”

The accused, who moved to Edmonton earlier this year from Langley, B.C., has no affiliation with the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton or any other diocese, police said.

The man is charged with two counts of luring to commit the making of child pornography, luring to commit an offence against a child, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual assault, possession of child pornography and extortion.

Cross said the investigation is still in its early stages, but investigators believe the man lived in Edmonton and moved to B.C. before moving back to the city in January.

He did not say whether the teens are from Edmonton or B.C. because it risked identifying them.

Images of the accused showed him in a “clergy type setting” wearing clothes that appeared to be those of a priest, Cross said, adding it’s still early to say if the man impersonated a priest in a public setting.

He did not believe the man was a volunteer or an employee at any agencies that would have given him access to children.

Lorraine Turchansky, spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, said a records search showed the man had no connection to the church.

“We are able to confirm he never studied for the priesthood here at St. Joseph Seminary, nor has he ever been ordained as a priest in the archdiocese of Edmonton or any archdioceses in Canada or the U.S.,” she said.

“I can tell you it’s as disturbing to us as it to anyone when you hear children and young people have been abused in any way,” Turchansky added. “We don’t tolerate that in this church.”

Police believe there may be additional victims and are asking that anyone with information about the case to call their local police detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe was released from custody on recognizance with conditions. He is set to appear in court Aug. 21.

[email protected]

One Response to “Edmonton man charged with child porn offences, extortion after mom of teen boy calls police” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    Weird. It sounds as though he presented himself as a priest to the boys? But investigators say they do not believe that he committed his crimes under the guise of being priest?

    Why would he present himself as a priest to these boys if not hoping that it would open doors for him to sexually abuse them?

    No matter. Someone out there must know this fellow .

    I wonder if he is even Roman Catholic? If yes, I wonder if he ever spent time in a seminary in Canada, the USA or elsewhere?

    And how, for goodness sake, has he managed to make a living for himself?

    As I say, weird. Just weird.

    Lets’ keep those boys and their families in our prayers.

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