Police say they’re hoping a sting operation that resulted in five men being charged for allegedly agreeing to pay for sex with an undercover cop posing as a female teen online will serve as a deterrent.
From Tuesday to Friday last week, the Halifax Regional Police/RCMP Integrated Child Exploitation and Vice Unit had officers posing as a 16-year-old female online.
Police say hundreds of emails were exchanged with adult men, and meetings were arranged with five men for sexual services at local hotels.
“It’s criminal for an adult to communicate with someone under the age of 18 for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. In this case, we have males aged all the way up to 57 seeking sexual services from a 16-year-old female,” said Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. Pierre Bourdages.
“So we are hoping it will act as a deterrent to adults and pass the message that this is wrong and it’s also criminal.”
Bourdages said police they took the action they did because they have been noticing an increase in the amount of young woman engaging in online prostitution. They also saw a spike on the Internet of adult men seeking sex from young females.
“I don’t have a scope of how big this is on the online world,” Bourdages said when asked exactly how big a problem this is. “I don’t have details on that yet.”
Police say the five men are each charged with using a computer to communicate with a person under18 and for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.
They have all been released and will appear in Halifax provincial court on April 2.
The men charged are:
• Mitchell Gary Kays-Rose, 25, Halifax (also facing charge of controlled substance).
• Alan Tek, 29, Halifax
• Peter Lee White, 39, Halifax
• Donald William Moore, 49, Shubenacadie
• Pierre (Rick) Joseph Simon, 57, Hilden