A man has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenager in the city earlier this month.
It’s alleged that Hassan Steven Jarrar, 41, lured a 14-year-old girl over the internet between January 1 and February 2 this year, and assaulted her at a hotel in the Queensway and Royal York Blvd. area on February 1 and 2.
The accused, who was arrested by police on February 4, faces several charges, including sexual assault, sexual interference, extortion and luring a child.
He made a court appearance on Feb. 7.
In 1997, Jarrar was convicted of a vicious sexual assault on a female. The victim, whose near-lifeless body was discovered in a remote area near Lake Ontario, sustained life-threatening injuries and was hospitalised for several months. She also underwent significant rehabilitation.
After completing a 15-year sentence, Toronto Police released a community safety bulletin.
At a press conference at police headquarters on Feb. 7, Insp. Joanna Beaven-Desjardins of the Sex Crimes Unit said there may be other victims and appealed to the public for any information relating to the accused.
She also issued a warning to the community, particularly young people, to be careful about personal information they share online.
“The internet and new technologies have become a way of life, especially with our youth,” Beaven-Desjardins said.
“The internet gives people a false sense of security and allows them to do things they might not normally do. Predators know this. The technology is forever changing and hard to keep up with. The police and many non-profit agencies such as the Canadian Centre for Child Protection are committed to educating our children in our communities. This particular incident is not uncommon.
“Sexual predators surf social media looking for a victim they can abuse. Predators will misrepresent themselves and morph into what they believe the victim wants. They will take personal information from the unsuspecting victim, create a personal and sometimes romantic relationship and coerce them into doing something they would not normally do. This can include sending photos and videos, some of which may be inappropriate. The suspect then uses these photos against the victim to control and extort them.”
Beaven-Desjardins encouraged parents to educate themselves and talk to their kids about the dangers of the digital platform.
“Cybertip.ca is a wealth of information relating to the digital world and its pitfalls,” she added.
“They provide a resource for families, children and educators. A significant service they provide is their website called needhelpnow.ca. It tells you how to cope with a difficult online situation and how to remove photos of yourself that you do not want posted. It helps you deal with a difficult situation and allows you to talk to someone about it.”
Anyone with information regarding Jarrar is asked to contact police at 416−808−7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App.