Ladysmith man arrested in child porn case

A Ladysmith man was arrested by RCMP in December in a child pornography case.

A Ladysmith man was arrested by RCMP in December in a child pornography case.

A 64-year-old Ladysmith man was arrested Dec. 15 after Mounties seized what they estimate could be more than one million sexually explicit images, including pornographic pictures of children, in materials seized in three searches.

The first search was carried out by Nanaimo RCMP’s serious crime unit at the suspect’s business in Cedar, where the man was arrested. Two other searches were conducted in the suspect’s car and at his home in Ladysmith.

Police seized 10 computers, digital cameras, web cameras, CDs, DVDs, at least 29 external hard drives and 25 other storage devices.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the amount of material seized is unprecedented in the region.

“Our members expected to find a significant number because of the computers, but once they started going through the images to assess what they had, it was quite shocking,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said it will be many months before all the charges police are recommending could be approved because of the shear volume of evidence that must be evaluated.

“We believe he was producing it from Internet images,” O’Brien said. “There’s nothing to indicate that children were at the home or in the car or the business. They’re Internet-based crimes, but the message we want to get out is that every time somebody looks at or distributes this they’re abusing those kids because you’re saying it’s OK, I’m condoning it, I’m looking at it and I’m sending it on to somebody else and it has to stop somewhere.”

The suspect was released on a promise to appear at Nanaimo provincial court Tuesday (Jan. 18) to face recommended charges for possessing, producing and accessing child pornography. The suspect has been ordered not to possess or use computers, access the Internet or attend any public place where a person under 18 could be present.

“If you’re into this stuff we’re going after you,” O’Brien said. “Our guys have the expertise and they’ve had it. They’ve seen what it’s doing to people and what people are getting into and if you’re involved in this stuff we’re going after you.”