A Fort St. John teenager faces 10 counts of child sexual exploitation and fraud charges in connection with a ‘sextortion’ case police say targeted victims and conned them into sharing intimate photos to a person they thought was a friend.
The boy, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been charged with four counts of luring a child, four counts of extortion, one count of distributing child pornography, and one count of identity fraud, according to Fort St. John RCMP’s Integrated Child Exploitation Team.
The charges come after a search warrant was executed on an unidentified home in Fort St. John on Feb. 15, the Team said in an announcement Friday
“While we believe that we have identified those victims in our community, we would encourage you to continue to speak with your teenagers and children about the dangers of sharing images and videos through electronic devices,” Cpl. Denise Perret of the Fort St. John RCMP said in a statement.
“We are also cognizant there may be additional victims who have not reported, if during discussions with your child you believe your child may be a victim, please report to the police in your community or the Fort St. John RCMP if you live within our jurisdiction."
In January, police made a public plea for possible ‘sextortion’ victims to come forward, after several teens were victimized after after sharing intimate photos of themselves to a person posing as a friend online
The investigation began after police received reports from the victims and information from the BC Integrated Child Exploitation unit.
A search of court records does not indicate whether the youth has yet to appear before a judge. He has not been found guilty of the charges.