A Toronto modelling agent has been charged with sexually assaulting young models and police believe that there may be more victims.
Norwayne Anderson, 43, faces five charges of sexual assault and two charges of sexual exploitation.
The sexual exploitation accusations are “because of the age of the alleged victims at the time of the offence and the position of power that he held,” said lead investigator Detective Constable Stacey Jennings. “He’s a talent modelling agent. They were models – young models.”
Investigators – who announced the charges on Thursday -- allege Mr. Anderson used his position to sexually abuse at least two teenage boys and one young man.
Police believe there may be other victims and asked anyone with information to contact investigators, an appeal that came as the city’s modelling community is gathered as part of Toronto Fashion Week.
“It is important to get the information out there as we do believe that there are other victims,” said Constable Wendy Drummond, a spokeswoman for the Toronto Police Service.
Police allege that Mr. Anderson approached a 16-year-old in 1996. “He pretty much solicited the boy – met him on the street, said he had the look, he could be a model,” Constable Drummond said.
After the teen began modelling, Mr. Anderson sexually assaulted him during a photo shoot at the agent’s home studio, investigators allege.
Police say Mr. Anderson sexually assaulted another teenaged boy, who was 15 at the time, in his studio in the summer of 2000.
The agent also sexually assaulted a third alleged victim, who was in his early 20s, three times between the fall of 2009 and the summer of 2010, police allege.
Mr. Anderson was arrested and charged on Sept. 10 in relation to the first two alleged victims. He was charged on Oct. 16 in relation to the third complainant. The charges weren’t announced at the time because the investigation was ongoing, Constable Drummond said.
Mr. Anderson would scout out attractive teenagers – mostly guys – in the Eaton Centre, on Yonge Street and in downtown nightclubs, says a source who helped him find talent in the 1990s.
“He would give them the feeling that they were going to be a celebrity. And in some cases, he was right. They did very well. He does have a good eye,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Mr. Anderson created NAM Personal Management Inc. in 1996, according to the company’s website. The site – which lists a phone number that appears to be assigned to another business – says it represents “models that Norwayne has personally selected.” The company recruits, trains, develops and promotes models in Canada and around the world, the site says.
The website features photos of models appearing in ads for well-known companies, such as Burberry, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as spreads in top fashion magazines.
Mr. Anderson could not be reached for comment.