Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Close the loopholes before another child gets hurt

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The first jolt was finding out her 14-year-old daughter was having sex with a 34-year-old convicted felon who was being investigated for his role in a massive child pornography ring.The second was learning Manitoba's justice system would do nothing to help her break up the disturbing relationship.There's something seriously wrong with this picture.As we reported exclusively in the pages of the Free Press this week, a Winnipeg mother is furious that she was twice rejected in her attempts to get a court order that would prevent the man from coming anywhere near her daughter. (Click HERE for full story)It's hard to blame her after hearing her story.At the time of her first attempt this past March, the teen was refusing to listen to her mother and wouldn't stop seeing the guy.Short of chaining the girl to a bed, I'm not sure what more the mother could have done. She went to police, who told her the man was on their radar for kiddie porn and that she should go immediately to the courthouse to get a protection order.She did - armed with several letters she'd found which had been written by her daughter and a young friend and contained startling details about the relationship, including allegations the man had taken nude photos of the teen.Seems like a slam dunk to convince a magistrate, right?Wrong.Her application was dismissed on the grounds the mother had failed to prove her daughter was in "imminent danger." Since the girl was in a consenual relationship and Canada's age-of-consent at the time was an embarrasingly low 14, there was nothing illgeal about the love affair.And so it would continue.Months later, the mother finally convinced her daughter to get out. The teen was now expressing fear for her safety and felt the man would try and use the alleged nude pictures against her.They returned to court - and had the door slammed in their face again. They were basically given the same explanation - no imminent danger.Fortunately, police stepped in a short time later and arrested the man for posession of child pornography. The investigation is now ongoing into whether nude pictures of the teen do exist, which would constitute an offence under the Criminal Code.As we also reported Wednesday, they are also looking into a website the man is involved with that offers pictures of girls as young as seven dressed in skimpy clothes and in provocative clothing. The so-called "modeling" site is clearly intended for pedophiles, yet may not go far enough to be a crime as defined by Canadian law. (Click HERE for full story)See the trend here?Our justice system is filled with loopholes that serve only to protect the interests of perverts and predators and do little for children and their families.They need to be closed immediately.www.mikeoncrime.com

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About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

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