Thunder Bay – A local resident was arrested following an intensive cybercrime investigation, revealing his involvement in the possession, access, and distribution of child pornography.
Justin John MACH, 39, of Thunder Bay, faces all three of the aforementioned charges. Following his court appearance on Friday, Aug. 11, he was remanded into custody, with a set date for his next court appearance.
On July 2, 2023, the Cyber Crime Unit of the Thunder Bay Police Service flagged a local internet user for potentially possessing digital files suggestive of child exploitation. Upon further inspection, these files were confirmed to match the characteristics of child pornography. Moreover, investigators successfully traced a local residential address linked to the download of these files.
Early on Thursday, Aug. 10, a search warrant was executed by the police in the Bay and South Water Streets area. The male suspect was found, arrested, and later transported to TBPS headquarters at 1200 Balmoral Street. The subsequent search resulted in the confiscation of several electronic devices related to the case.
Charges and Their Implications:
1. Possession of Child Pornography: Under the Criminal Code of Canada, individuals found guilty of this charge can face imprisonment for a term of up to five years if prosecuted as an indictable offence.
2. Accessing Child Pornography: Those convicted could also face a prison term of up to ten years on an indictable charge.
3. Distribution of Child Pornography: The penalty for this offence, when treated as an indictable crime, can lead to imprisonment for a term of up to 14 years.
Protecting Children from Online Dangers: Tips for Parents
- Open Dialogue: Maintain open communication with your children regarding their online activities.
- Privacy Settings: Regularly check and update the privacy settings on all devices and apps that your child uses.
- Educate: Ensure your child understands the dangers of sharing personal information and photos with strangers online.
- Monitoring: Periodically check your child’s online interactions and acquaint yourself with their online friends.
- Install Parental Controls: Utilize software and tools that allow parents to restrict access to certain sites and monitor online chats.
- Encourage Reporting: Teach your child to come to you if they ever encounter something unsettling or suspicious online.
Remember, vigilance and education are key in ensuring our children’s safety in the digital age.