Kamloops man accused of soliciting sex with a toddler
A 33-year-old man in Kamloops, B.C., has been arrested for allegedly trying to solicit sex with a pre-school aged child, RCMP said Monday.
Just before 8:00 p.m. Saturday, officers received a report of a man trying to buy sex with a young girl. The call came from an undisclosed acquaintance who says he received a text message offering a finder's fee if he could accommodate the request.
"A person told us that someone they knew had been in conversation via text, and that this 33-year-old male had actually asked him to find a three to five-year-old," Sgt. Scott Wilson said.
After speaking to police, the acquaintance arranged a rendezvous with the suspect.
"It was at a residence in Kamloops," Wilson said. "We had a description of him, and we were waiting for his attendance."
At 9:41 p.m. the same evening, a suspect showed up allegedly believing he was to meet a young child. Uniformed RCMP officers apprehended him at the scene and took him into custody.
The Vancouver-based Safe Online Outreach Foundation (SOLO) works to protect British Columbians from online sexual exploitation. The foundation's Merlyn Horton says the speed of text messaging makes it particularly concerning.
"Texting is a very popular mode of communication online and is used for exploitationg for regular communication all the time," she said.
Wilson says the suspect is on bail for a 2008 sexual offence arrest involving a child under the age of 12.
Wilson says the RCMP has recommended a charge of procuring sex with persons under the age of 18. If convicted, the charge carries a minimum six month jail term and a maximum sentence of five years.