A Winnipeg man is facing charges after he allegedly tried to lure a 13-year-old girl over the Internet.
Winnipeg police arrested and charged Kyle Hudak, 22, last month following an investigation into a number of incidents in March. Police also executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home, seizing numerous computers.
Police believe Hudak had been engaging in online and text message conversations with a 13-year-old girl. The conversations were sexually graphic and demeaning in nature.
Hudak is alleged to have arranged a meeting with the girl. The meeting was averted after an adult associated to the girl intervened, and a report was made to police. Members of the Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit became involved and the male suspect was identified.
The suspect is facing charges of possession of child pornography and arrangement to commit a sexual offence against a person under 14 years of age, as well as a number of luring a person under 14 years of age charges.
He was released on a promise to appear.
Hudak has been a primary reservist with the Canadian Forces for just over three years, said their senior spokesman, Mike Lagace.
Hudak was "released from the performance of military duty on April 30," shortly after the military was notified he’d been arrested and charged.
Lagace said Hudak worked "very part-time" as an engineer with the 38 Combat Engineers Regimen in Winnipeg.
After Hudak’s case proceeds through the justice system, the military will re-examine his case and might re-integrate him into their regimen, according to Lagace.
Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said investigators believe the suspect was likely aware of the age of the person he was having contact with.
"The conversations were inappropriate, graphic, and certainly demeaning towards this young female," said Michalyshen, who noted the young girl was asked to send the suspect photos of herself.
Michalyshen confirmed Hudak "was arrested outside of the city, west of the Winnipeg."
City police announced the arrest just before information from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection was released that could help teach children to protect themselves from online sexual exploitation as part of class curriculum.
"It's so important that we are engaged in what our young people are doing online. It's important that we acknowledge this arrest today, but certainly the message goes far deeper than that," said Michalyshen before introducing Noni Classen, director of education for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (CCCP).
"(Kids) are engaging in behaviours that offline would be quite normative in experimenting sexually, being curious and all those things. But the problem is that they're using technology to facilitate it," said Classen.
"The problem is that you can have adults coming in and accessing kids."
Classen announced a new curriculum module that will be rolled out this fall through the CCCP's Kids in the Know program, an educational program that is already available at elementary and high schools across the country.
The new module will specifically target children in grades 7-8 and grades 9-10, since they are the most common victims of online luring.
The module won't be mandatory teaching in schools, but it will be readily available for any interested instructors this fall.
"We create material for schools...to start early in conversations with kids around protective factors," said Classen.
"(Kids) are going to make mistakes, they're going to be engaging in more experimental and high-risk behaviours...We understanding that as adults need to really stay on top of this."