Home Canada Luring pedophiles through fake online ads is not entrapment, Supreme Court says

Luring pedophiles through fake online ads is not entrapment, Supreme Court says

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Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that an online police investigation of adults trying to have sex with a child was not caught in a police trap.

In a rare 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court has dismissed the appeals of four men convicted of sex crimes against children. Cory Daniel Ramerson, Muhammad Abbas Jafar, Erhard Hanifa, and Temitope Dare from Ontario.

An investigation by York Local Police, called Project Raphael, was conducted from 2014 to 2017. The investigation involved an undercover operation posing as a teenage escort at a website suspected to be a child sexual exploitation hub.

An undercover agent posted an ad offering an opportunity to have sex with an 18-year-old girl. When a fictional girl agrees to have sex with her individual, an undercover agent disguised as the girl reveals that she is actually her 14-year-old.

Those who agreed to proceed with the transaction were shown to their hotel rooms. All 104 men who showed up in the hotel room were arrested.

The ages of the men charged ranged from 18 to 71. Many of the men were married and came from a variety of professional backgrounds. Almost all of the men were first-time offenders.

The investigation was the first in Ontario to target sex offenders with false advertisements designed to lure them in. The question at the heart of the case was whether this kind of investigation could be entrapped.

Entrapment is when the state or police induce someone to commit a crime they otherwise would not have committed.

In order for the ruling to be considered a bona fide investigation, the police must provide “reasonable evidence of a sufficiently precise space” that a crime has been committed and that police action is being taken to “suppress the crime.” “I must have suspicions,” he said.

The ruling said online investigations like Project Raphael are extensive and can lead to “severe intrusions into people’s lives,” so careful consideration is important.

“Given that online surveys may affect more individuals than comparable surveys in the physical space, the nature of those effects deserves scrutiny,” the ruling said. How we act on the ground may be as important or even more important than where the police act.”

Backpage.com targeting

The ruling said that the basis of the York Local Police investigation was: Similar research in British Columbia This involved secret police placing ads on Craigslist.

Yorkshire Police Inspector Tai Chuong told the court that investigations like those in BC were used as inspiration. [child exploitation], you’re not going to find it. ”

According to the ruling, York Local Police learned through research and interviews with dozens of underage sex workers that there were “widespread problems resulting from certain types of online advertising” in subdirectories of Backpage.com. , decided to target that website.

The ruling said the website appeared to be an “active hub for crime,” with certain posts appearing there every day promoting the youngest sex workers.

The court ruled that police advertisements posted on the website borrowed common terms such as “tight,” “young,” “new,” and “fresh” when describing the children on offer. It said it was designed to emulate the ads already on the site.

In his ruling, Justice Andromake Karakatsanis said, “In my view, this was enough to indicate a reasonable possibility that crime was occurring in space. Indeed, crime was occurring regularly.” was suggested,” he said.

“if [York Regional Police] To address crimes related to juvenile sex workers, the ad for youngest sex workers in the York Area Escorts subdirectory on Backpage was the place to go. ”

The court ruled that Project Rafael was a bona fide police investigation because of substantial evidence pointing to the website and because the crimes were “reasonably related and proportionate to each other.”

privacy issues

The court used Lamerson as a test case to make its decision, and the verdicts of the other three criminals followed the precedent set in Lamerson. .

Lamelson’s attorney said in court filings that the client “failed the virtue test” but police “had no right to test the applicant the way they did.”

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which intervened in the case, argued that the case raises serious privacy concerns that Canadians are being targeted by the state.

There is evidence that children are being offered up for abuse on more popular platforms such as Yahoo and Facebook, and extensive investigations like Truong’s have been used to trap innocent Canadians and expose their personal information. He said it could be dangerous.

“Surveys that do not identify targets in advance pose the greatest risk of becoming roaming, unfocused surveys that endanger the privacy of online users,” the CCLA said.

In a court ruling, Judge Karakatsanis said police must innovate to match the “ingenuity” of criminals.

“These realities give police a ‘significant degree of latitude’ in their investigations…so detections of confinement should only be issued in the ‘most specific cases,'” she said.

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