Convicted child-lurer caught with phony Facebook account
CTV British Columbia
Published Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:24PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 14, 2012 8:52PM PDT
Police are warning the public that convicted child-lurer Jeffrey Goddard has created a fictitious Facebook account and amassed almost 300 friends, despite a court-ordered ban on using the Internet.
Abbotsford police arrested Goddard last Thursday after he allegedly created a profile under the name Ryan Martin Stewart and used it to contact underage boys.
“They have actually opened up their lives and photos to someone who has been convicted of a sex offence,” Const. Ian MacDonald told CTV News.
“I think when you start talking about worst-case scenarios in social media, this has to be one that haunts parents and others.”
Goddard was convicted of invitation to sexual touching in 2010 after posing online as a teenage girl to set up meetings with boys under the age of 18. He served time but was released in February under conditions that included a ban on Internet use.
The Facebook profile he’s accused of creating has an elaborate back story; “Martin” studied at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, was born in Calgary before moving to Abbotsford and works as a supervisor at the family-run Stewart Landscaping, a fake company with a Facebook page of its own.
The profile contains pictures of cute animals and the band Kings of Leon, and says: “I am a really loving person and i am caring if u wanna know anymore about me please dont be affraid to ask me (sic).”
Merlyn Horton of the Safe Online Outreach Society warns that youth should not feel pressured to accept Facebook friend requests from everyone who asks, because they could be opening a dangerous door to strangers.
“All of this information gives someone the power to approach you as though they know you,” Horton said.
Abbotsford police are asking anyone who had contact with Goddard under the Stewart profile to contact them.
Goddard remains in police custody, but will be seeking his release at a court appearance scheduled for Thursday morning.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Julia Foy