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Vancouver Island man facing 7 charges of child exploitation in joint Canada-U.S. investigation

A Vancouver Island man is facing multiple child-exploitation charges following a months-long investigation involving authorities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. (File photo) A Vancouver Island man is facing multiple child-exploitation charges following a months-long investigation involving authorities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. (File photo)
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A Vancouver Island man is facing multiple child-exploitation charges following a months-long investigation involving authorities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

Jae Alexander Hegan, a 31-year-old man from the Langford area, was arrested in January and charged earlier this month with seven offences, including five charges of creating and distributing child pornography and two charges of child luring.

Mounties say officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security flagged the suspect last September under suspicions he was involved in child exploitation on an unnamed social media platform, the RCMP announced Tuesday.

The British Columbia Integrated Child Exploitation unit launched an investigation into the man after he allegedly lured three female youth victims online and exploited them, creating images of child sexual abuse and making the media available online for others to see, police said.

Investigators executed a search at a Langford home in January and arrested a suspect at the scene.

Prosecutors have since approved charges for two counts of child luring and one count each of making or publishing child pornography; making child pornography available; possessing child pornography; accessing child pornography; and making sexually explicit material available to a person under the age of 16.

The suspect was released with conditions, including restrictions on his access to children and the internet.

"Online child exploitation poses a grave threat to the well-being of our youth, and this case highlights the importance of cross-border cooperation in combating these crimes," Staff-Sgt. Natalie Davis of the B.C. child exploitation unit said in a statement.

"Predators are online and accessing our youth at home, in the privacy of their bedrooms," she added. "It is important for adults to have conversations with the youths in their lives about how to stay safe online."

Police say the investigation is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time.

  

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