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by Isabel Mosseler

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A 53-year old West Nipissing man has been arrested on child pornography charges after police searched his home and seized a computer which contained images of child sexual abuse. The Ontario Provincial Police issued a news release on June 1st indicating that the Child Exploitation Unit, Technological Crime Unit and the West Nipissing Police Service had arrested and charged Normand Marcel Hurtubise, after executing a search warrant at his residence on May 23.


OPP Detective Sergeant Terry Paddon of the Child Sexual Exploitation Unit said the investigation was relatively short. “It was an online proactive investigation initiated by our unit. I can’t go into details in terms of how we do our business. Instead of reacting, we initiated the investigation ourselves.”


Hurtubise was charged with two counts of Possession of Child Pornography, one count of Making Available Child Pornography and one count of Accessing Child Pornography. The charge of distribution (Make Available Child Pornography) is an indictable offence and, if found guilty, carries a minimum sentence of one year and a maximum of 14 years.


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Asked to explain what “Make Available” constitutes, Det. Sgt. Paddon explained that “an address or location, a computer, in West Nipissing was identified through our investigation as being responsible for sharing images of child pornography… sharing it over the Internet.” He elaborated that this sharing is done peer-to-peer and does not involve the exchange of money. “We, as an investigative unit, are aware of lots of images… The individuals who share these images don’t necessarily know who they are sharing the material with. We do.”



He added that people access file sharing networks for many legitimate purposes, but sharing these images is not legitimate. “Our standard is reasonable grounds to believe, and our investigation allowed us to have reasonable grounds, he’s (Hurtubise) the person responsible for possessing and making available child pornography.”


Asked how pervasive the problem is and if law enforcement is getting the upper hand, Paddon was not overly optimistic. “I wouldn’t say we’re getting a grip on this.”



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