2014-04-17 16:46 PDT
Coquitlam RCMP and provincial Crown Counsel announced today that a 35 year old Dutch citizen and resident of the Netherlands, has been charged with several offences under the Criminal Code of Canada in relation to the Amanda Todd investigation. Today’s announcement is a major milestone in an investigation that has spanned three and a half years and included local, provincial, national and international components.
In December 2010 the Coquitlam RCMP launched an investigation into allegations of harassment and extortion involving Amanda Todd, then a 13 year old resident of Port Coquitlam, BC. After Amanda’s death on October 10, 2012 Coquitlam RCMP’s Major Crime Section took over the file and assigned a team of investigators to review the circumstances surrounding Amanda’s death.
In the months following Amanda’s death that team reviewed thousands of tips, interviewed hundreds of people and engaged the expertise of specialists and investigators from across the province, the country and around the globe including the BC Integrated Technological Crime Unit, the BC Integrated Child Exploitation (BC ICE) Unit, and the National Child Exploitation Centre (NCECC) in Ottawa.
Through coordination, cooperation and diligence, investigators were able to identify a suspect in the Netherlands who was arrested in January 2014 and remains in custody facing a variety of charges including: indecent assault, the production and dissemination of child pornography, fraud, computer intrusion, and the possession of hard drugs in connection with offenses in his home country. Investigation into his online activities continued after his arrest in the Netherlands and today Coquitlam RCMP can confirm that he is facing an additional 5 charges under the Criminal Code of Canada in connection to the Amanda Todd investigation:
The male has been charged with:
All charges are related to incidents the occurred between January 1, 2010 and October 10, 2012.
We are not releasing his name of the accused as we wish to protect the integrity of the Dutch judicial process.
The Coquitlam RCMP has been working on Amanda’s investigation non-stop, said Inspector Paulette Freill, Operations Support Officer with the Coquitlam RCMP.
Thanks to the diligence of our investigators and the assistance of provincial, national and international partners we’ve achieved a major milestone: criminal charges. But our work isn’t over and Amanda’s story isn’t done as long as the court processes here and in the Netherlands are still underway.
The RCMP has been working in cooperation with international police agencies to provide information to the Netherlands and international police communities to help identify the suspect and victims, says Inspector Bob Resch, National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC).
We have played a key coordinating role in the international investigation. The NCECC is a component of the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children/Behavioural Sciences Branch (CPCMEC/BSB). CPCMEC/BSB is comprised of highly trained law enforcement professionals with specialized skills and advanced technical training, dedicated to child protection.
Investigations of this nature are complex and require a great deal of time when working with potential victims, the technological intricacies, legal requirements and overall investigative actions. While an accused has been arrested and charged, efforts and coordination with the Dutch authorities and other law enforcement partners will continue in support of the ongoing judicial processes. Given the investigative findings to date, there is also the possibility of other victims in other jurisdictions, as these types of crimes have no boundaries. Therefore, investigative efforts continue among the international partners.
The issue of on-line exploitation and harassment continues to be a concern for authorities. Parents are once again encouraged to always try to keep open lines of communications with their children and all individual should be aware of the numerous programs and resources available.
Should anyone feel they are a victim of cyber-bullying or have information about these types of offenses, they are asked to contact police or report abuse to External link, opens in a new windowcybertip.ca.
Link to a high res photo of Inspector Bob Resch
Link to the Statement by Insp. Paulette Freill
BC RCMP Communication Services