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Canadian Press

Toronto child-porn probe nets 73 suspects worldwide

Investigation started in November, grew into global search with suspects in 20 countries, police say

Canadian Press - Brampton, Ontario, March 30, 2010

A Toronto-area child-pornography arrest has led to a sweeping investigation uncovering 73 suspects in 20 countries, police said Tuesday.

The investigation began last November with the arrest of a 29-year-old man in Brampton, Ont., on child-pornography and sexual-assault charges, police said.

That probe went global, culminating in police gathering evidence against the 73 suspects.

This kind of offence knows no bounds in the Internet age, police said.

"While the Internet has evolved and shown its potential to assist society is endless . . . we need to remember that there are people out there whose use of the Internet will destroy the lives of our children and their families," said Peel Region Staff Supt. John Nielsen.

Insp. Bob Strain said offenders are using increasingly sophisticated technology.

The complexity increases the work for police forces to keep up, which Strain said, emphasizes the need for projects like this one, involving multiple police forces.

"The victimization of a child has a lifetime effect on their lives, their loved ones and the community at large," he said Police said the evidence will be shared with police forces around the world.

Two files caused immediate concern for the safety of children and led to two arrests, one in Maine and one in Britain, Strain said.

Provincial police Det.-Staff Sgt. Frank Goldschmidt said the investigation is proof of how pervasive child pornography is in Ontario and across the world.