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A police officer walks past a projection of the Ontario Police services that participated in a province-wide investigation targeting child pornography offenders following a media conference in Vaughan, Ontario on Thursday, February 2, 2012. (Pawel Dwulit/Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press)
A police officer walks past a projection of the Ontario Police services that participated in a province-wide investigation targeting child pornography offenders following a media conference in Vaughan, Ontario on Thursday, February 2, 2012. (Pawel Dwulit/Pawel Dwulit/The Canadian Press)

Repeat offenders among those charged in huge Ontario child porn bust Add to ...

Two years ago in Windsor, Ont., Steven Ernest Slade pleaded guilty to charges of possession of child pornography, luring and counselling someone to commit an indictable offence.

The court heard that 42-year-old had been beaten up and turned suicidal while in pre-trial detention. The judge also noted that Mr. Slade found child porn “addictive as well as arousing.”

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Afterward, the female neighbour who had tipped police predicted to a Windsor Star reporter that “two years from today he'll be back online.”

Fast-forward to Thursday, when the Ontario Provincial Police announced the arrest of 60 suspects, the largest child porn bust in Ontario.

Among them was one Steven Ernest Slade, 44, of Scarborough, charged with luring, counselling someone to commit an indictable offence and breach of probation.

In addition to Mr. Slade, four of the accused were also charged with breaching existing probation or bail conditions.

For example, William Groves, 48, of Ottawa was charged with breach of an order from a previous sexual conviction, breach of bail restrictions and eight counts of luring a child.

The 60 accused include a daycare worker, a photographer who worked with young female models, an employee of a group home and three teenaged boys.

The number of people charged paled next to the revelation that investigators identified 8,940 internet protocol (IP) addresses in Ontario where child porn is suspected of having been downloaded in the last three months.

While most crime trends have gone down in, “this is probably the only crime that is still going on a fairly substantial increase,” said OPP Detective-Staff-Sergeant Frank Goldschmidt.

The three minors who were arrested are 16 years, including a Niagara Falls boy charged not only for possession but also for making child pornography.

“Young people are more up to speed on technology,” Det. Staff Sgt. Goldschmidt said.

He said the suspects were mostly pinpointed through software developed by police and investigators have identified 22 victims. In many cases, minors were hoodwinked into taking pictures of themselves by adults they met online, he said.

Among the accused was a Brantford resident employed in a local group home for youth and a St. Thomas photographer who works with young female models.

One accused, Terence Keleher, 61, of Guelph, was arrested entering the United States. Court documents allege that customs officer in Buffalo searched his car after he gave vague answers.

According to a criminal complaint, investigators found an iPad computer that had accessed a website titled “Daddies Gangbang of Young Boy,” and later established that Mr. Keleher had traded graphic photos of himself with a 16-year-old boy in Ohio.

Officers from 23 police services searched 76 locations, seizing computer equipment and in some cases finding marijuana or improperly stored firearms. A total of 213 charges were filed, including sexual assault, child luring and making, possessing and distributing child pornography.

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