On November 18, 2021, 35-year old Kevin McCarty from Oregon was arrested in California by Homeland Security Investigations agents (HSI) after the joint investigation that originated in Surrey.
In September 2021, McCarty, who used an alias, allegedly contacted and communicated with a 14-year-old Surrey youth, on social media. He then allegedly groomed the youth for a sexual purpose, and coerced them to create, and distribute self-exploitive sexual material.
The Surrey Frontline, Digital Forensic Triage Services and Internet Child Exploitation Units worked with the victim and their family to gather evidence. Investigators dertermined that the suspect was American, and engaged with HSI.
As the investigation progressed HSI agents identified additional victims, and identified Kevin McCarty as the suspect. They acted immediately, effecting an arrest.
McCarty is now facing charges in the United States. The criminal complaint in the District of Oregon has laid charges of sexual exploitation of children, distribution of child pornography, cyberstalking, online enticement of a minor, and transferring obscene material to a minor. (A criminal complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.)
One of the most important outcomes is that the images and videos shared in this investigation are now part of Project Arachnid. Says Corporal Danielle Pollock of the Surrey RCMP Internet Child Exploitation Unit.
Project Arachnid helps break the cycle of the distribution of these images. This can help address victims’ fears that someone they know may come across their image on the internet.
Operated by the Canadian Centre, Project Arachnid is an innovative tool to combat the growing proliferation of child sexual abuse material on the internet. For more information visit the Project Arachnid website.
It is always important to monitor your child’s online activity. Surrey RCMP provides Internet Safety Tips for Parents on our website.