Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit and Wainwright RCMP are charging a 30-year-old man from Wainwright after a joint investigation.
Wainwright RCMP received multiple complaints of an unknown suspect dating back to January 2019. ICE was brought in April 2020 to aid in the investigation and executed multiple search warrants which resulted in the arrest of Jesse Keller at his home on May 6.
He is charged with child luring, sexual assault, possession of child pornography and several other charges.
ALERT says he lured and extorted at least three victims through multiple social media apps and allegedly met and sexually assaulted one of the victims.
The unit is gathering more information by investigating the computers and electronics seized in the search.
“Increased online activity during isolation puts children at risk of being taken advantage of,” says Cpl. Kirk Smith, Wainwright RCMP. “We are asking all parents to be aware of who their children are chatting with online and the type of conversations that are taking place.”
Tips to youth who may be dealing with online blackmail or extortion offered by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection include:
- Never comply with the threat
- Stop all forms of communication with the individual and block the account
- Deactivate all accounts used to communicate with the individual
- Speak to a safe adult about what is happening
- Contact cybertip.ca or police
Anyone with information about the investigation or any other child exploitation offence is encouraged to contact local police or cybertip.ca.