CALGARY — A Calgary man has been charged with the sexual assault and exploitation of three girls.
City police say they began looking into the case last month following allegations that two 14-year-olds and one 12-year-old had been sexually assaulted.
Investigators say the suspect met the girls in the community, shared his cellphone number and found them on social media.
Police allege he regularly spent time alone with the girls, paid them money, bought them vapes, drugs and food, drove them around the city and sexually touched them.
"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."
Stacey Shibley, 56, has been charged with three counts each of sexual assault, sexual interference, obtaining sexual services for consideration of a minor and two counts of invitation to sexual touching of a minor.
He is to appear in court Friday.
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."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.
The Canadian Press