A 56-year-old Calgary man faces multiple charges tied to the sexual assaults of three girls who were contacted on social media after meeting someone in the community, police say.
Stacey Shibley was arrested at his home on Wednesday, the Calgary Police Service said Thursday in a news release.
He's been charged with:
Three counts of sexual assault.
Three counts of sexual interference.
Three counts of obtaining sexual services for consideration of a minor.
Two counts of invitation to sexual touching of a minor.
Police say they became aware of the allegations concerning three girls — a 12-year-old and two 14-year-olds — after members of two families reached out.
Police say man reached out online
The family of the 12-year-old contacted police about a conversation on social media between the girl and a man because they believed the girl was being sexually abused.
While investigating that incident, police were contacted by someone from a second family, who said a 14-year-old had been contacted by what turned out to be the same man online, who purchased items for her and sexually assaulted her.
Police say the man met the girls in the community, shared his cellphone number and contacted them online. The man paid the girls money, bought them vapes, drugs, and food, and drove them around the city, touching them sexually while alone with them, police say.
"The mental and emotional impacts of sexual abuse and exploitation are beyond devastating and can last a lifetime," Det. Amy Spence with the Calgary Police Service Child Abuse Unit said Thursday.
"Holding offenders accountable for their actions is only one part of the success of an investigation."
Spence said the girls are in no way at fault. She said parents and guardians need to be vigilant in keeping an eye on who their family members have contact with on social media.
"Ensure who the identity is of the person they are talking to. We often see friend requests come about with the child or youth not truly knowing the identity of that person and that's where we're often seeing this as a starting point," she said.
"I do believe we are seeing, whether it's due to COVID … kids and youth learning online or generationally we're seeing more people engage in social media … we are seeing an increase in these types of crimes."
The girls are being supported by a centre for child abuse intervention and prevention.
They're not being named because they're minors and the victims of sexual assault.
Shibley is to appear in court Friday.
Police are asking anyone with information that could further this investigation to contact Spence at 403-428-5457.
Victims of sexual assault in Calgary can report incidents to police by calling 403-266-1234, or 911 if they are in immediate danger.
There is no time limit on how long a victim has to report a sexual assault in Canada.