Two Yukoners charged with Internet luring

A second Yukoner has been charged with luring a child over the Internet. Few details are being released in this latest case, but police are going public to encourage any other victims to come forward with information.

A second Yukoner has been charged with luring a child over the Internet.

Few details are being released in this latest case, but police are going public to encourage any other victims to come forward with information.

Officers with the Whitehorse RCMP detachment began their investigation on April 26, said Const. Dean Hoogland. They were alerted to a possible problem by a concerned parent.

Billy Callahan-Smith was arrested and charged with one count of luring a child.

Later in the investigation, allegations were made by a second victim, Hoogland said.

Callahan-Smith was charged with a second count of luring a child and one count of making sexually explicit material available to a child.

Both of the children in this case are around 11 or 12 years old, Hoogland said.

“This release is focused on any other people out there that may have had similar incidents dealing with the same person,” he said.

The charge alleges that someone used telecommunications to connect with a child for the purpose of committing another offence including things like child pornography.

Hoogland would not say what offence these latest charges of luring are connected to.

“At this time I can’t release that because that’s still part of the investigation. When more information comes to light hopefully we’ll have more information to pass on.”

He is encouraging the public to contact their local RCMP detachment with any information.

This is the second time in about two weeks that a Yukoner has been charged with luring a child over the Internet.

Last Friday police announced the arrest of 30-year-old Gary William Matheson. The Pelly Crossing man is facing one count of luring a child.

In that case police say a 13-year-old girl was approached on the Internet by a man who wanted her to produce “what would have been considered child pornography.”

No images were actually shared.

Hoogland said the two cases came about separately and are not linked in any way.

Chris Rider, the executive director of Bringing Youth Toward Equality, or BYTE, says families don’t need to be afraid of what’s online as long as they have open conversations with each other.

“It all comes down to the communications channels parents have with their children. The more open and honest a dialogue parents have with children the more that they can have the conversations that will help protect them,” he said. “From our experiences the more open parents are with their kids the more that the children are likely to come to them and discuss when they have a problem.

The urge to unplug the computer and try and keep children away from the Internet can be a strong one. But Rider said that’s not always a helpful strategy.

“Frequently young people will find a way of connecting to the Internet. Whether that’s through school, whether that’s through their friends devices, there are usually ways that a young person can connect to the Internet.” he said.

Sometimes parents are less comfortable with technology than their children or lack the understanding of everything that can be done online, Rider said.

“What they can do though is just to keep those conversations going. It is good to learn the technology, but the most important thing is just to talk with their kids. And be up front with them about the dangers that do exist.”

About eight months ago, BYTE developed a digital citizenship workshop.

The workshop deals with the issues of online bullying and other dangers on the Internet.

So far there have been five of these workshops held in both Whitehorse and the communities.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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