Cuyahoga County

ICAC Investigation Leads to Canadian Man Charged for Online Exploitation of U.S. Teens

8/9/2019

 

CLEVELAND, OH – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley, Chair of the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), announced that the Ohio ICAC and the Internet Child Exploitation Unit in the Region of Peel, Canada, worked together to arrest and charge a man for engaging in explicit online chats with whom he thought were minor children.

Between March and April 2019, Carl Kirk, 73, of Mississauga, Canada, chatted with Ohio ICAC undercover investigators expressing interest in meeting up for sexual activity. ICAC officials, working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Cleveland Field Office, contacted the Peel Regional Police, where Kirk was further investigated by the Internet Child Exploitation Unit and subsequently arrested. 

“This case is a prime example that shows our children are not only targeted here locally, but internationally as well,” said Prosecutor O’Malley. “The strength of the ICAC Task Force lies in our ability to partner with local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies to stop the online exploitation of children whenever these offenders try to cross state lines or international borders.”

On July 31, Kirk was charged by Canadian authorities with the following:

3 counts of Luring Child to Commit Sexual Assault
3 counts of Luring Child to Commit Sexual Interference
3 counts of Luring Child to Commit Invitation to Sexual Touching
3 counts of Luring to Distribute Sexually Explicit Material to a Child
2 counts of Luring a Child to Attempt to Make Child Pornography

Law enforcement officials believe Kirk may have engaged with minor children throughout the United States, some of whom may know each other. Anyone who has had contact with Kirk is urged to contact the Internet Child Exploitation Unit in Canada at (905)-453-2121 ext. 3490, or Ohio ICAC at (440)-886-5284.

This is the second international case Ohio ICAC has investigated this year. In February, Cody Swinnerton of Berea coerced children from around the U.S. and Australia to send him nude images. He has been charged on multiples counts including Sexual Exploitation of Children, Receipt of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, and Possession of Child Pornography.  He is scheduled to appear in Federal Court on August 15th.

Ohio ICAC is run under the direction of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and funded in part by a grant from the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the State of Ohio. The task force conducts proactive and reactive investigations dealing with the online exploitation of children and provides training and technical assistance to more than 350 local, state and federal criminal justice affiliated agencies throughout the state of Ohio.