“Three Gatineau residents among 28 arrested in province-wide child porn crackdown” & related articles

Share Button

CFRA

November 21, 2013 03:44 from Alison Sandor
By: Alison Sandor (@CFRA_Alison) with files from the Canadian Press and CTV Ottawa

childpornsuspects.jpg

Twenty-eight suspected child pornographers, including three from Gatineau have been arrested after a province-wide crackdown, and Quebec provincial police expect to make more arrests.

The Surete du Quebec arrested the more than two-dozen men this week. Most of them have already been in court to be arraigned on charges of production, distribution and possession of child porn.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Stranglehold, an investigation that began in June when officers started investigating what appeared to be a fresh batch of lewd pictures and videos of children.

Police seized 1,300 DVDs and CDs, 39 USB drives and a dozen desktop computers containing one million files during Operation Stranglehold.

They believe the victims, who were between the ages of three and 17, were mostly targeted outside of Quebec and Canada, but police have identified 40 children who were sexually assaulted within Quebec.

Police say several of the men arrested are repeat offenders and in an unusual move, they issued the photographs of seven of the suspects. They said it is believed those suspects have more victims in the province.

Among the pictures released is that of Luc Lacasse, of Gatineau. He’s the chief custodian at Ecole elementaire catholique Montfort in Ottawa.

A French Catholic School Board spokesperson says they’ve been told by Police that there’s no reason to believe any of their students were victimized.

Another Gatineau man, Guy Chartrand, 64, was also arrested in the Operation.

The former director of communications of a Gatineau City Councillor is also among those arrested.

Alexandre Hoffarth, 27, worked as the campaign manager for independent councillor Jocelyn Blondin during the last election.

In a release, Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneau-Jobin said he is astonished to hear about the charges and has full faith in our justice system.

Many of the 28 suspects had close contact with children.

_____________________________

3 Gatineau men facing child porn charges after Quebec bust

28 men arrested in Quebec-wide child pornography bust

CBC News Posted: Nov 21, 2013 3:44 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 21, 2013 4:28 PM ET

Three Gatineau men have been arrested and are facing charges after a Quebec-wide child pornography bust.

Sûreté duQuébec (SQ) police arrested a 27-year-old La Cité collégiale teacher and charged him with possession and production of child pornography. He was a campaign manager in Gatineau’s most recent municipal election.

He appeared in court Thursday afternoon.

Quebec police also arrested a 49-year-old custodian at an Ottawa Catholic school, and a 64-year-old retired government worker. Both appeared in court Wednesday and were charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Both have been released from police custody and are set to appear in court in December and January.

School board investigating custodian

A spokesperson at the school board where the custodian works said the SQ don’t believe the man’s alleged criminal activities involved any students at the school.

“Of course, that is reassuring for parents and for employees, as well,” said Roxanne Deevey, communications director at Le Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, an Ontario French language school board.

He has been suspended from his job while school board officials investigate.

Parents and staff of the elementary school were notified.

Operation Mainmise began in June

The SQ led Operation Mainmise between June and October this year with the co-operation of police forces from across Quebec. The arrests took place between Nov. 18-21 across the province.

Officers from the Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, Laval, Longueuil,Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Lévis, Trois-Rivières, Terrebonne, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Jérôme police forces assisted in the operation, and the SQ revealed its findings at a news conference Thursday morning at its Montreal headquarters.

Only one victim has been identified so far — a five-year-old boy — but police said there could be up to 40 victims.

Since the creation of a dedicated internet child pornography unit in 2003, the SQ has arrested 250 people in Quebec.

Police says there is no link so far between the suspects, since there is no evidence the men shared the same online files. However, the SQ said investigators are working on leads that may connect the suspects.

The men who were arrested range in age from 21 to 68 years of age, and come from different backgrounds and occupations.

__________________________________________

Ottawa elementary school employee arrested on child porn charges

The Ottawa Citizen

November 21, 2013 7:00 PM

 

Ottawa elementary school employee arrested on child porn charges

Gatineau resident Luc Lacasse, the chief custodian at École élémentaire catholique Montfort in Ottawa, has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography after the biggest child pornography investigation in Quebec’s history.

OTTAWA — A janitor at an Ottawa elementary school has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography after the biggest child pornography investigation in Quebec’s history.

Luc Lacasse, 49, who lives in Gatineau, is the chief custodian at École élémentaire catholique Montfort in the east end of Ottawa. Lacasse was arrested on school property around 7 a.m. Wednesday, said Roxanne Deevey, spokeswoman for the Conseil des écoles catholiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, the French Catholic board.

Though Lacasse has only worked at the elementary school since 2012, he has been an employee of the school board since 1986. His last job was also at an elementary school, but there have never been any documented issues about his interaction with students.

“We were reassured when the Surete du Quebec told us that there is no reason to believe our students were involved in Mr. Lacasse’s alleged activities,” Deevey said. “No issues of this nature have ever come up.”

All employees of the school board must undergo a criminal record check in order to be employed and that check is renewed annually. Lacasse has always passed the record check.

The school board has sent a letter home to parents notifying them that Lacasse has been criminally charged, but the letter does not specifically say the charges relate to child pornography.

Deevey said that at the time the letter was drafted administration knew Lacasse would be charged but weren’t exactly sure what charges would be laid against him. Parents have been told to contact the principal of the school if they have concerns.

Lacasse has been banned from school property and is therefore not reporting to work his normal school-hours shift. The board will conduct an internal investigation but must meet with an employee before any internal disciplinary process begins. That meeting is scheduled to take place Friday.

Lacasse was one of three Gatineau men arrested and one of 28 people swept up in total as a result of Projet Mainmise, a four-month joint investigation between RCMP and Quebec provincial police, that began in June of this year. Investigators detected individuals sharing files on the Internet and began looking into their digital interactions. As part of the raids that led to the charges, police seized 28 computers, 32 USB keys and more than 1,300 CDs and DVDs. Police said they have identified a five-year-old boy who lives in Quebec as the only victim of the ring, but said they could find other victims once they go through the material seized. Police also said the number of images could potentially reach one million.

The arrests were carried out across Quebec between Monday and Thursday by a team investigating the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet. Municipal forces in Montreal, Quebec, Gatineau, Laval, Longueuil, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Lévis, Trois-Rivières, Laval, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Jerome were also key to conducting the investigations and executing the arrests.

Lacasse was released on bail with conditions the same day he was arrested. He must not communicate, be alone, or have any physical contact with children younger than 16.

He is not allowed to use the Internet and must prove to the court that all Internet service to his home has been cut off.

Lacasse is banned from all parks, recreation centres where children are present or places where children could reasonably be expected to be.

He is next scheduled to appear in Gatineau court on Jan. 20.

Quebec police said they expect more arrests to be made and more charges to be laid in the coming weeks.

With files from Tom Spears

2 Responses to “Three Gatineau residents among 28 arrested in province-wide child porn crackdown” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    (1) “They believe the victims, who were between the ages of three and 17, were mostly targeted outside of Quebec and Canada, but police have identified 40 children who were sexually assaulted within Quebec.”

    (2) “Police say several of the men arrested are repeat offenders …”

    (3) “Among the pictures released is that of Luc Lacasse, of Gatineau. He’s the chief custodian at Ecole elementaire catholique Montfort in Ottawa.

    “A French Catholic School Board spokesperson says they’ve been told by Police that there’s no reason to believe any of their students were victimized.”

    (4) “Many of the 28 suspects had close contact with children.”

    (5) “Though Lacasse has only worked at the elementary school since 2012, he has been an employee of the school board since 1986. His last job was also at an elementary school, but there have never been any documented issues about his interaction with students.”

    (6) “All employees of the school board must undergo a criminal record check in order to be employed and that check is renewed annually. Lacasse has always passed the record check.”

    (7) “The school board has sent a letter home to parents notifying them that Lacasse has been criminally charged, but the letter does not specifically say the charges relate to child pornography.”

  2. MS says:

    Cover-up, denial, delay, etc. Are children ever protected? Even today, if they tell, are they heard/believed? Parents entrust their children to institutions at the early age of 18 months – day care – it makes me shudder to think that LaCasse passed the background checks. I think the schools need to teach children an Abuse 101 course, including stalking and grooming, which is part of what these perverts do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *