Child luring convictions may be overturned following Supreme Court case.

Child luring convictions may be overturned following Supreme Court case.
Posted on March 27, 2019 | Derek Flegg | Written on March 27, 2019
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Blog Post

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

Ontario portrayed as pedophile paradise in U.S. ruse to capture predators.
A website set up by Homeland Security promoted the bogus firm Precious Treasure Holiday Co., which promised to arrange illegal encounters in Ontario for pedophiles. October 10, 2011.
U.S. authorities have defended their online portrayal of Ontario as a haven for child-sex tourism, saying the ploy helped them catch four predators.
A controversial website set up by the Department of Homeland Security promoted the bogus firm Precious Treasure Holiday Co., which promised to arrange illegal encounters in Ontario for pedophiles.
Ontario portrayed as pedophile paradise in U.S. ruse to capture predators. Continued.
Four people — two Germans and two Americans — fell for the sophisticated ruse and signed up for a trip.
A pamphlet that came with the website offered one night hotel accommodations in Canada and travel under the guise of “boyfriend and girlfriend going to gamble at casino.”
The pamphlet said transportation to Cleveland, meals and “condoms, lube, etc. . . ” were not included in the travel package.
But it was the use of Canada as a safe haven for sex tourism that raised questions about how the country was portrayed in the sting.
“Canada made for a more plausible scenario,” Brian Moskowitz, the special agent in charge of the investigation, told Postmedia News shortly after the indictments were announced.
“It was never our intent to take anyone to Canada and no children were involved. It was merely part of a scenario that we built.”
He said that Canada wasn’t used in the scenario over any perceived weaknesses or legal vulnerability.
Canadian authorities, such as those in Windsor, across the river from the Detroit offices of Homeland Security where Moskowitz is based, are alerted whenever such a sting is underway to prevent them from wasting resources on chasing the American operation, he said.
Homeland Security first set up the website in 2009. It remained online in several reincarnations until it was finally outed in March as a government sting by The Smoking Gun website.
“Sex tourism is a scourge and must be combated with every available resource,” Moskowitz said in a release when the convictions were announced in early September.
“These cases show international borders are no longer a hindrance for predators.”
The two German men convicted in the sting paid up to $1,600 to have sex with girls and boys between the ages of 10 and 13. One, a 49-year-old doctor from Stuttgart, was allegedly found with lingerie, sex toys, bondage ropes, straps, a mask, lubricant, 17 condoms as well as four stuffed unicorns and a paint-by-number set, Homeland Security said.
Two Ohio men also pleaded guilty to sex trafficking offences and possession of child pornography as a result of the sting. In one case, a 38-year-old man tried to organize a sexual encounter with an eight-year-old girl. In the other case, a 25-year-old man wasn’t legally allowed to enter Canada because he was on parole for a molestation conviction, Homeland Security said.
Project Spade, massive international child porn bust centred on Toronto, nets 348 arrests in ‘horrific sexual acts.’
The Toronto man at the heart of the investigation was allegedly running a company since 2005 that distributed child pornography videos
November 14, 2013 10:46 AM EST
“It’s a first for the magnitude of the victims saved,” said Insp Joanna Beaven-Desjardins, of the force’s Sex Crimes Unit. “The amount of arrests internationally, also a first.”
At least 348 people were arrested around the world as part of Project Spade, including 50 in Ontario and 58 from other parts of Canada.
School teachers, doctors, nurses, police officers, pastors and foster parents are among those facing charges in the wide-ranging operation that can be traced back to a business operating out of Toronto’s west end, police said.
“Its success has been extraordinary,” Beaven-Desjardins said of the investigation which spanned more than 50 countries.
In the 1980s, Canadians were shocked into awareness of the widespread evil of child sexual abuse. In Ontario alone, the names Cornwall, Prescott and London became synonymous with "respectable" pedophile rings -- lawyers, doctors, police officers and Catholic clergymen -- that for decades preyed on society's most vulnerable boys.
The pedophiles of Cornwall
The little city of Cornwall, Ont., is not a place you'd expect unspeakable secrets to lurk. But for the past seven years, it has been racked by a dark drama that has shredded reputations and driven men to suicide. The villains, it's alleged, are that most loathsome form of human life -- pedophiles. The pedophiles allegedly include Catholic priests and the city's leading citizens.
Cornwall sex abuse victims given large settlements.
Some victims of the Cornwall sex abuse scandal are receiving large financial settlements to keep quiet after decades of allegations that a cover-up of a pedophile ring existed in the eastern Ontario city, CTV Ottawa has learned.
The sex abuse scandal was uncovered in the early 1990s. A public inquiry ended in December 2009 after four years. The inquiry found the Catholic Church, police, the Ontario government and the legal system all failed to protect children from sexual predators.
Now, Ontario's attorney general has confirmed to CTV that several financial settlements have been reached with victims, and more lawsuits are outstanding.
Cornwall inquiry fails to dispel or confirm respectable pedophile ring.
The Canadian Press Published Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:55 PM EST.
Rumours that swirled for years that children were abused at the hands of a pedophile ring in eastern Ontario were neither put to rest nor given credence Tuesday by a $53-million public inquiry report four years in the making.
The Cornwall inquiry's official mandate was to examine institutional responses to historical claims of sexual abuse, and the sensational allegation that fuelled it went unresolved in the more than 1600-page report.
"Throughout this inquiry I have heard evidence that suggested that there were cases of joint abuse, passing of alleged victims, and possibly passive knowledge of abuse," Commissioner G. Normand Glaude wrote.
"I want to be very clear that I am not going to make a pronouncement on whether a ring existed or not."
The Ontario Provincial Police spent four years investigating allegations of sexual abuse, an investigation Glaude criticized in the report. Police laid 115 charges against 15 people under Project Truth, though only one was convicted.
The police declared there was no evidence of a ring, but that failed to quell the suspicion and fear in the community.
"There is good reason why certain members of the public were less than satisfied with the OPP's unequivocal position about the non-existence of a ring," Glaude wrote.
"I find that the OPP did not conduct a full-scale investigation into the linkages between victims and perpetrators."
Glaude made the point, however, of noting "much of what I have heard about linkages remain allegations that have not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt."
The report found institutional response to reports of sexual abuse was, in large part, inadequate and failed to protect the vulnerable. Among the commissioner's recommendations was to expand training and mandatory education for professionals such as public servants, those in the justice system, teachers and others having contact with children or adults who may have been sexually abused.
Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher of the Diocese of Alexandra-Cornwall was at the release of the report to offer an apology.
"I am truly and deeply sorry for the pain that has been visited upon some of our young people and their families," he said.
"On behalf of the Catholic diocese that I lead I want to apologize to you for the suffering and indignity caused by those in a position of trust and authority who have robbed you of your innocence."
Child luring convictions may be overturned following Supreme Court case, lawyer says By Michael Mui Star Vancouver Tues., March 19, 2019.
VANCOUVER—A large number of child sex-exploitation convictions across Canada could end up being overturned after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Criminal Code provisions that made it easier to convict people of child luring, according to a lawyer who argued the case.
In the R. v. Morrison decision on Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down two areas of the country’s child-luring charge under Section 172 of the Criminal Code, impacting cases in which police officers pretend to be minors to catch suspected predators online.
Mark Halfyard, a lawyer who argued the Supreme Court of Canada case, said the result means similar child-luring cases could now be successfully challenged and potentially overturned, resulting in new trials for the previously convicted.
“On an individual, case-by-case basis, the Crown’s office is going to have to look at which ones should be reprosecuted,” Halfyard said.
“A person shouldn’t be standing out there, whoever they are, whatever their circumstances, convicted on the basis of an unconstitutional law.”
In undercover sting operations, officers approach child-luring suspects online, disclose that they are underage and see whether the suspect plays along.
Read more:
Police overwhelmed by rampant, ‘hidden evil’ of child exploitation online
B.C. privacy watchdog investigating 'Creep Catchers' who expose alleged sex predators
First of its kind report outlines sexual abuse against nearly 1,300 students in Canadian schools over past two decades.
Halfyard’s client, Douglas Morrison, was one of those suspects and was being investigated by an undercover officer pretending to be a 14-year-old. They exchanged conversations of a sexual nature over a few months in 2013, including making plans to meet and engage in sexual touching, but the meeting never happened. Morrison was arrested and charged with child luring but maintained that he thought he was speaking to an adult and that the conversation was sexual role-play.
The Criminal Code charge for child luring presumed a suspect understood they were dealing with a minor if that’s what they were told by a police officer, Halfyard said. The court ruled that this violates a suspect’s presumption of innocence, as the suspect is free to disbelieve such a claim.
Additionally, the accused had been obligated by law to show they took reasonable steps to verify the person they were dealing with was not a minor, or else be found guilty. The court ruled that it is the Crown’s job to prove guilt. The accused could argue he took reasonable steps to verify as part of a defence, and the Crown is free to refute that defence — but the lack of verification is not proof in and of itself that the accused believed the other party was underage.
“People that are still luring children, police still have the exact same tools to build a case against them, it just won’t be presumed in law — just because they throw an age at a person in chat conversations, that (the suspects) necessarily believe they’re talking to a child,” Halfyard said.
The Creep Catchers vigilante group, which conducts similar sting operations and films encounters with suspects who agree to meet, said the group is now reviewing the court decision.
“It’s not going to change the way we expose people. When it comes down to exposure, people who are watching or seeing who we’re exposing ... they don’t care about technicalities, they don’t care that this person said this first, or they have a defence, the bottom line is: they still came to meet,” said Nicole Hunter, a director of the Creep Catchers group.
“The whole point, the reason of why there is Creep Catchers, is because there isn’t enough charges in these stings, there isn’t enough investigations, there isn’t enough law enforcement out there to catch these guys. They may not be the ones raping children yet, but they’re still willing to come and meet them. That’s our whole point.”
Michael Mui is a Vancouver-based investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @mui24hours
Ontario's foster parents and group home workers celebrate as Doug the Slug Ford's conservative government the closes the child advocate's office..
A 14-year-old girl is a ‘sexually mature young woman,’ not a child, children’s aid society lawyer argues in sex abuse suit.
Kenora-Rainy River Districts Child and Family Services tells the Star it disagrees with what its lawyer argued in an ongoing sexual abuse court case, but refused to say whether it plans to rectify the statement in court.
Kenora-Rainy River Districts Child and Family Services. 820 Lakeview Drive Kenora Ontario P9N 3P7 Canada Phone: 807-467-5437 Fax: 807-467-5539.
NEWS Mar 24, 2019 by Jacques Gallant Toronto Star.
A 14- or 15-year-old girl is not a child, but rather a "sexually mature young woman," according to a lawyer for a Northern Ontario children's aid society.
The statement by Toronto lawyer Gary McCallum is contained in a July 2018 affidavit in an ongoing civil court case, in which a woman is suing Kenora-Rainy River Districts Child and Family Services, claiming she was sexually abused as a child by her foster father in the 1980s while under the care of the agency's predecessor organization.
Affidavit. ... In our Plain Language Legal Dictionary, we define affidavit as “A written statement of facts, sworn to and signed by a deponent before a notary public or some other authority having the power to witness an oath.”
It was again referenced in a January 2019 ruling from the lengthy case, which is playing out in a Toronto court.
The statement has been described to the Star by other lawyers and a professor of social work as "offensive," "shocking," and "appalling" — doubly so because it was made by the lawyer for the very agency charged with protecting the most vulnerable children.
"This is outrageous," said Melissa Redmond, assistant professor of social work at Carleton University. "You represent the organization that is responsible for protecting children in this community, protecting children from exactly the sorts of horrific circumstances that this child found herself in."
Read more:
Man from London, Ont., facing sexual exploitation, child porn charges
Police overwhelmed by rampant, 'hidden evil' of child exploitation online
Redmond, whose research interests include child protection policy, said she can't understand why there have not been consequences for the statement. "I don't understand how this is in the public record and (Kenora CFS) have not been seen to distance themselves as quickly as possible and to talk about how they value the children in the community and the children they have served in the past."
Read more:
Ontario’s child advocate had 27 on-going investigations into foster homes as province shuts him down. National News | November 20, 2018 by Kenneth Jackson. APTN News.
After first dealing with the shock of learning through the media that his office was being axed by the Ford government, Ontario’s child advocate’s focus shifted and it was not about his future.
Irwin Elman began thinking of the children his office is trying to help.
More so the 27 individual investigations currently on-going into residential care, like group homes and foster care said Elman.
“I have been very clear what I think about this change. I absolutely do not agree with it. Now I have been working, thinking and turning my mind to how we can we preserve all the things we do,” said Elman, 61, Tuesday.
He said right now it is “unclear” what happens to those investigations if he isn’t able to complete them before new legislation is passed that will officially close his office.
“We’re talking to the ombudsman to ensure any investigation that isn’t wrapped up transfers over. We don’t know where the government’s mind is,” said Elman.
“We intend to complete them. Our office expects those investigations will go over if they are not completed. We will fight to ensure that happens.”
He also said more investigations are expected to start and that the province is notified each time one is opened.
Elman couldn’t speak specifically to any individual investigation, just that they are based on complaints his office received into group and foster care homes.
APTN News knows one of them appears to be Johnson Children’s Services (JCS) which operated three foster homes in Thunder Bay when Tammy Keeash died in May 2017.
APTN reported last week that the three homes were closed after Keeash’s death but had been investigated at least seven times within a year of her dying.
This was all found in an on-going court battle between two Indigenous child welfare agencies fighting over jurisdiction. In documents filed as part of the litigation the advocate’s office first wrote Dilico Anishinabek Family Care of its intention to investigate JSC in August 2016. It appears, from the court documents, Dilico asked the advocate’s office to wait until the agency first investigated JSC.
It was then again confirmed in documents the advocate’s office was investigating JSC following Keeash’s death.
“We can’t allow Indigenous children to fall through the cracks of saying ‘oh you called this ombudsman’s office’ and they’ll sit in Toronto and they’ll tell you use a complaints process. Tell that to a 15-year-old First Nations child, to use a complaint process. When our process is we will go out and stand with the child and walk them through some of the options they have to ensure their voices are heard,” said Elman.
“The ombudsman is not used to working with children. The ombudsman doesn’t have any ability, yet, or capacity, yet, to use an Indigenous lens in its work but we have strived to develop one.”
Elman’s term officially ends Friday as the child advocate. Before he learned his office was being closed he was supposed to be attending a meeting with the provincial government Nov. 26 to discuss what the province is going to do about problems with residential care.
He’s unsure if he’ll still be invited to that meeting if he’s told between now and Friday he is no longer the advocate.
The meeting was scheduled after Ontario’s chief coroner released the findings of the so-called expert panel report into the deaths of 12 children living at group or foster homes in Ontario between 2014 and 2017. Eight were Indigenous and included Keeash.
The panel of experts picked by the coroner reviewed each child’s death and provided recommendations after finding the system failed each of them and continues to do so.
But it wasn’t news to those that have been listening for the last 10 years since the child advocate’s office was first opened.
“This is not news,” said Elman of the report. “We supported the process but we were sort of astounded that people pretended like this is the first they ever heard about it.”
Regardless, if it created action by the government Elman supported that.
But the first move the Ontario government publicly made after the report was released in September was to announce the closure of his office.
That means Elman will be the first and last child advocate in the province.
Tags: child advocate, Featured, ford government, foster homes, Ontario, ontario government, tammy keeash, Thunder Bay.
Agencies and service providers funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) are legally required to inform the Ontario Child Advocate when they become aware of an incident where a child or youth who has had any involvement with a children’s aid society in the past 12 months dies or has suffered serious bodily harm. The agencies must provide this notification in writing without unreasonable delay.
Ontario’s child protection system fails children, again.
By Star Editorial Board Wed., Sept. 26, 2018 .
Children should, at the very least, survive the attempts of Ontario’s child protection system to help them.
What an incredibly low bar that is, Ontario’s child advocate noted. And how shocking that, yet again, Ontario has failed to meet it.
A new and rightly scathing report by Ontario’s coroner is calling on the provincial government to overhaul the child protection system that keeps failing children.
The panel of experts appointed by Ontario’s chief coroner Dirk Huyer examined the tragic deaths of 12 youths who were placed in foster homes and group homes for their safety and well-being, and yet died while under provincial care.
Eight of the 12 were Indigenous, cut off from their communities in the north, and eight youth died by suicide. All 12 of these young people, who died over a three-and-a-half-year period, were known to have serious mental health challenges and yet the panel found little was done to help them.
“Despite complex histories and the high-risk nature of these young people’s lives, intervention was minimal and sometimes non-existent,” the report states.
Ministry oversight of homes is inadequate, caregivers lack proper training and vulnerable children are being warehoused and shuffled from one home to the next without getting the care they need. In fact, the child protection system can barely be called a system given its lack of co-coordinated services, Huyer said.
And what makes this worse is that it has all been said before.
To her credit, Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod didn’t seek to dodge these findings. “From the CASs to group homes to my ministry, we all bear some responsibility,” she said. “As the new minister, the buck stops with me and I will take action.”
Let’s hope this time it’s action that actually makes a difference in kids lives.
That means, as this expert panel has said, getting away from a “crisis driven and reactionary” response, to prevention-focused care that works with children and their families, whose troubles are often driven or compounded by poverty.
Just yanking kids from their homes, especially when they are placed into a system that has repeatedly proven incapable of dealing with their complex needs, isn’t a solution.
The panel was struck by how often these kids were classified as “safe with intervention.”
The tragedy is that they were far from safe because they didn’t get the constructive intervention they needed.
Between 2014\15 the Ontario children's aid society claim to have spent $467.9 million dollars providing protective services that doesn't seem to extent to the 90 to 120 children that die in Ontario's foster care and group homes that are overseen and funded by the CAS.
In a National Post feature article in June 2009, Kevin Libin portrayed an industry in which abuses are all too common. One source, a professor of social work, claims that a shocking 15%-20% of children under CAS oversight suffer injury or neglect.
Several CAS insiders whom Libin interviewed regard the situation as systemically hopeless.
A clinical psychologist with decades of experience advocating for children said, “I would love to just demolish the system and start from scratch again.”
“There are lots of kids in group homes all over Ontario and they are not doing well — and everybody knows it,” says Kiaras Gharabaghi, a member of a government-appointed panel that examined the residential care system in 2016.
“It is stunning to me how these children... are rendered invisible while they are alive and invisible in their death,” said Irwin Elman, Ontario’s advocate for children and youth. Between 90 and 120 children and youth connected to children’s aid die every year. (rendered invisible by the PDRC)
Between 2008/2012 natural causes was listed as the least likely way for a child in care to die at 7% of the total deaths reviewed while "undetermined cause" was listed as the leading cause of death of children in Ontario's child protection system at only 43% of the total deaths reviewed.
92 children equals 43% of the deaths reviewed by the PDRC. 92 mystery deaths and like every other year no further action was taken to determine the cause...
Vulnerable children are being warehoused and forgotten.
The report describes a fragmented system with no means of monitoring quality of care, where ministry oversight is inadequate, caregivers lack training, and children are poorly supervised.
By LAURIE MONSEBRAATEN Social Justice Reporter SANDRO CONTENTA Feature Writer. Tues., Sept. 25, 2018.
The expert panel convened by Ontario chief coroner Dirk Huyer found a litany of other problems, including:
Evidence that some of the youths were "at risk of and/or engaged in human trafficking."
A lack of communication between child welfare societies.
Poor case file management.
An "absence" of quality care in residential placements.
Eleven of the young people ranged in age from 11 to 18. The exact age of one youth when she died wasn't clear in the report.
Dr. Dirk Huyer said the need for change is starkly spelled out in a report commissioned by his office after 12 youth in the care of a children's aid society or Indigenous Child Wellbeing Society died over a three-and-a-half-year stretch from 2014 to mid 2017.
Two thirds of those children were Indigenous, most died by suicide, and all contended with mental health struggles while living away from home.
Of the 12 cases examined by the report, eight were Indigenous youth who came from families that showed signs of "intergenerational trauma." They also routinely dealt with the effects of poverty in their remote northern communities, including inadequate housing, contaminated drinking water, and lack of access to educational, health and recreational resources, the report said.
Once the child welfare system became involved, the report found many of the children bounced between numerous residential placements ranging from formal care arrangements with more distant relatives to group homes hundreds of kilometres away from family.
The report found the 12 children lived in an average of 12 placements each. One one young girl stayed in 20 different placements over 18 months, the report said.
All the children had a history of harming themselves, but most received little to no treatment for underlying mental health issues, it said.
Eight killed themselves, two deaths were ruled accidental, one was undetermined, and the death of one 14-year-old girl was ultimately deemed a homicide, the report said.
Grassy Narrows teen's death to be part of 'expert review' of youth who died in child welfare care
Ontarios Most Vulnerable Children Kept In The Shadows.
Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press. Published Tuesday, September 25, 2018.
The inquest into Jeffrey Baldwin's death was supposed to shed light on the child welfare system and prevent more needless child deaths. Baldwin's inquest jury made 103 recommendations. Sep 06, 2013.
Nearly six months after the inquest into the death of Katelynn Sampson began, jurors delivered another 173 recommendations. APRIL 29, 2016.
Use of 'behaviour-altering' drugs widespread in foster, group homes.
2014.. Almost half of children and youth in foster and group home care aged 5 to 17 — 48.6 percent — are on drugs, such as Ritalin, tranquilizers and anticonvulsants, according to a yearly survey conducted for the provincial government and the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS). At ages 16 and 17, fully 57 per cent are on these medications.
In group homes, the figure is even higher — an average of 64 percent of children and youth are taking behaviour-altering drugs. For 10- to 15-year-olds, the number is a staggering 74 per cent.
“Why are these kids on medication? Because people are desperate to make them functional,” Baird says, and “there’s so little else to offer.
Yet if the parents take medication to help make them more "functional" it's a reason for to keep a file open or apprehend a child, not render assistance or relief.
The figures are found in “Looking After Children in Ontario,” a provincially mandated survey known as OnLAC. It collects data on the 7,000 children who have spent at least one year in care. After requests by the Star, the 2014 numbers were made public for the first time.
What’s worse is that the number of children prescribed dangerous drugs is on the rise. Doctors seem to prescribe medication without being concerned with the side-effects.
Worldwide, 17 million children, some as young as five years old, are given a variety of different prescription drugs, including psychiatric drugs that are dangerous enough that regulatory agencies in Europe, Australia, and the US have issued warnings on the side effects that include suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior.
According to Fight For Kids, an organization that “educates parents worldwide on the facts about today’s widespread practice of labeling children mentally ill and drugging them with heavy, mind-altering, psychiatric drugs,” says over 10 million children in the US are prescribed addictive stimulants, antidepressants and other psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs for alleged educational and behavioral problems.
In fact, according to Foundation for a Drug-Free World, every day, 2,500 youth (12 to 17) will abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time (4). Even more frightening, prescription medications like depressants, opioids and antidepressants cause more overdose deaths (45 percent) than illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and amphetamines (39 percent) combined. Worldwide, prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death.
Strange that an agency that is against any form of corporal punishment isn't against giving children to people that are so willing deny children their rights as they drug, restrain and label them "problem children."
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men and women do nothing.

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Advocates for family preservation against unwarranted intervention by government funded non profit agencies and is a growing union for families and other advocates speaking out against the children's aid society's... More