A search warrant in April led Toronto police's sex crimes unit to the discovery of child pornography images and videos, resulting in the arrest of a former Degrassi High actor and three Ontario women, Toronto police said Wednesday.
Jason (Byrd) Dickens, 45, is facing 20 charges, including possessing child pornography, sexual assault and bestiality. His partner, Dylan Anne (Doll) McEwen, 31, is charged with 10 similar counts.
Police said they received a tip in January, 2016, about a man uploading child porn online. The probe led to a search warrant in late April, where police discovered child pornography videos and images. Police seized the couple's devices and found more material.
Police believe the couple was active online and sought out victims on the Internet and in-person. Mr. Dickens went by several user names, including RetroDeviant, Byrd_Dawg and Sir Dirk. Ms. McEwen used the screen names Doll, Dirty Doll, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
The couple also frequented fetish sites, such as collarspace.com and slavefarm.com, although police do not believe the sites were used to distribute child porn.
"We are concerned that there may be more victims," Detective Mike Sabadin told reporters. Police did not disclose the ages of the victims or the number involved.
In 1990, Mr. Dickens appeared on several episodes of Degrassi High, where he played an abusive boyfriend. He has since worked in film and television production, and most recently worked on the upcoming Vin Diesel action film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, according to his IMDB filmography.
Mr. Dickens and Ms. McEwen will appear in Toronto court on Sept. 1.
Police also allege that between January, 2000, and January, 2006, Mr. Dickens met with a woman online and in person. Police allege that during that time, the two sexually abused a child and distributed more child pornography online.
The 57-year-old London, Ont., woman, whose name was not released, is charged with 10 child sexual exploitation offences. Mr. Dickens faces six more charges in that case.
Mr. Dickens met a third woman from Thunder Bay who faces one charge of making child pornography. Tina Ewen, 25, will appear in Thunder Bay court on Sept. 27.