A tip led to the arrest of two people who are facing child sexual exploitation charges.
Matthew Wilson, 31, and Sadia Waezzadah, 28, were arrested on March 4 after a search warrant was conducted in the Wellesley & Sherbourne Sts. area.
“We received anonymous information,” Det. Janelle Blackadar said, at a press conference at police headquarters on March 7. Based on that information, officers from 51 Division, the Child Exploitation Section of Sex Crimes and members of the Child & Youth Advocacy Centre launched a joint investigation.
Wilson is facing 19 charges, including sexual assault and interference, possession of child pornography and luring three children under the age of 16 and one under age 18, while Waezzadah is charged with sexual assault and interference and possession of child pornography.
Waezzadah will make a court appearance on March 7 while Wilson is scheduled to appear in court on March 10.
“The suspects have a relationship from the past and they know each other currently,” said Blackadar. “I don’t know if they were in a romantic relationship.”
In this day and age, parents really need to be aware of the digital devices that children are using, such as smartphones and other portable devices that can access the internet, websites and other chat programs
Blackadar urged parents to take an active role in the content their children are posting and who they are communicating with on digital platforms.
“Children should be able to surf the internet free from child sexual exploitation and/or abuse,” she said. “Both parents and children need to know how to safeguard themselves against child exploitation and how to report it. In this day and age, parents really need to be aware of the digital devices that children are using, such as smartphones and other portable devices that can access the internet, websites and other chat programs. All of this availability of digital technology to children unfortunately puts them at risk and makes them vulnerable to online predators.
“…It’s important to know that this investigation began as a result of a member of the public coming forward with allegations of a criminal nature. Many organizations exist, such as Crime Stoppers, Cybertip.ca and the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children. All of these organizations are there to assist in the reporting of child sexual abuse online and in person.”
Concerned there may be more victims, Blackadar is appealing to anyone with information in relation to the two accused to contact police at (416) 808-8500; Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.