York cops use “Creep Catcher” ads to flush out sex predators

York Regional Police have revealed a long-term program called Project Raphael in which the service placed ads on the internet to attract men wishing to buy sex. As explained by Detective Sergeant Thai Truong at a news conference Friday morning those solicited were told they were communicating with a child, meaning someone under 18. If the man stopped communicating, no action was taken. Truong said that over a period of perhaps three years 104 men who continued to communicate with the “child” were charged. The solicitation of sex customers in this fashion is similar to the techniques of so-called Creep Catchers active in British Columbia. Crown prosecutor Susan Orlando said the age of those accused ranged from 18 to 71. Overall, 32 pleaded guilty. three others went to trial and resulted in convictions while one other suspect was acquitted. Cases against five other suspects were withdrawn and 64 cases remain before the courts.

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