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article imageQuebec police arrest 28 men on child pornography charges

By Arthur Weinreb     Nov 22, 2013 in Crime
Montreal - Twenty-eight men were taken into custody and face child porn charges and one child was rescued after a series of raids this week. One of those arrested is a custodian of an Ottawa elementary school.
The Surete du Quebec, Quebec's provincial police force, announced the arrests at a Montreal press conference yesterday. Operation Mainmise was conducted throughout the province between June and October of this year. The Surete du Quebec, together with local police forces, conducted raids throughout the province between Monday and Thursday of this week.
More than 300 police officers took part in the raids and seized computers, DVDs, CDs, and USB keys containing millions of images. So far, more than 60 charges have been laid but that number is expected to go up as the investigation continues.
According to police, they have no information that any of the men have connections with the others but as the investigation continues, file sharing among the suspects may be discovered.
One of those arrested is Luc Lacasse, 49. The resident of Gatineau, Quebec worked at an Ottawa, Ontario elementary school as chief custodian. He has worked there since 1986 and passed a criminal records check. Police told the school board they have no reason to believe any students at the school appeared in the child pornography images.
Lacasse, who was arrested at the school Wednesday morning, has been released on bail. Conditions of his release are that he terminate his Internet access and is not to be in places where children are expected to congregate. He will therefore not be allowed on school property.
One child, a five-year-old boy, has been rescued. Police released mugshots of seven of the men, including Lacasse, who are believed to have sexually assaulted children in addition to committing child pornography related offences. Police are seeking the public's help in the sexual assault investigations and are hoping more children can be rescued.
The arrests come a week after 10 teenage boys, between the ages of 13 and 15 in Laval, a suburb of Montreal, were arrested on child pornography charges. It is alleged they coaxed teenage girls to pose for sexually explicit images that they then shared.
The men arrested in Operation Mainmise range in age from 21 to 68. Some have previous convictions for child pornography and some, like Lacasse, worked with or around children.
More about surete du quebec, operation mainmise, Child pornography
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