Toronto police are urging parents to keep an eye on what their children are doing online after a man was charged with sexually assaulting a teen boy whom he met through a social media dating app.
The man, 42, of Toronto, was arrested last Friday and has been charged with:
- Luring a children under the age of 16.
- Two counts of sexual interference.
- Two counts of sexual assault.
Det.-Const. Julie MacInnis, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service's Sex Crimes Child Exploitation Section, said police allege that the man contacted the victim, a 14-year-old boy, through the dating app and the teen believed the man was a boy his own age.
MacInnis said police allege the man sent nude images to the teen during their chats. Police also allege the teen met the man in person and was sexually assaulted by the man on a number of occasions.
Be vigilant, parents told
On March 19, she said police received information about the incidents. Last Friday, police executed a search warrant in the area of Queen's Quay West and York Street. The man was arrested after the premises were searched.
MacInnis told reporters on Thursday that police are seeking more information about the accused man and wanted to make the public aware of the investigation.
"I can tell you at this point that the investigation is not over and we encourage anyone with information to please come forward," she said.
MacInnis said the man uses the online profiles of "AJ S," "AjSaad123," "asaad942" on social media applications Grindr, Snapchat and Kik.
She said the parents of the victim found out about the alleged assaults and reported the incidents to police.
Reassure kids that you won't over-react
"We recommend parents to be vigilant of children's online use and activities for sure. They can do things such as know their kids' passwords to their devices, to do random checks of their devices, not to have their devices in the bedrooms or bathrooms," she said.
"But most importantly, we believe it's a communication with your child in fostering a relationship where they can feel they can come to you and to remember to reassure them that you won't overreact if you find them in a similar situation."
Police allege the interactions between the man and teen occurred this year.
The accused has been seen driving a Black Range Rover.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-8500, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).