Toronto man charged with 96 offences related to child sexual assault

FILE PHOTO: A Toronto police vehicle is deployed at the Rogers Centre in Toronto

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A 31-year-old Toronto man is facing 96 charges related to sexual assault of children in person as well as on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, police in Canada said on Wednesday.

The charges against Daniel Langdon include 39 counts of sexual assault, 39 counts of sexual interference, as well as allegations of making and possessing child pornography, Toronto Police said in a statement.

Victims were aged between seven and 17. Police have declined to say how many children were targeted or provide information about the victims to protect their identities.

Police allege that Langdon, who they believe was operating alone, used several email addresses and social media platforms, as well as altered photos that made him look younger.

Authorities started working on a child luring and sexual assault investigation last year which led to Langdon's arrest in February.

Police searched his home and recovered child sexual abuse material as well as evidence indicating that he sexually assaulted a seven-year-old child at a Toronto park.

Toronto Police detective Vijay Shetty told a news conference that Langdon was previously charged with possessing and creating child pornography in 2016, but declined to provide more details of that incident.

Langdon appeared in court on Feb. 8 and was remanded in custody, police said. He is scheduled to appear in an Ontario court on Thursday.

The investigation is still ongoing and police believe there are more online and in-person victims across Ontario, Canada's most populous province.

A representative for Langdon could not immediately be located to seek comment.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Editing by Josie Kao)