Man charged in sex assaults on ‘pre-pubescent’ kids lured at Filipino churches
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Thursday, July 4, 2019 11:16AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 4, 2019 11:52AM EDT
A Toronto man is facing 22 charges after he allegedly lured at least three small children at two Filipino churches over the past year, recording his sexual assaults on them and sharing them online.
Det. Const. Don Bai says that sometime before March 2019, Facebook contacted American law enforcement officials with information suggesting someone was trading and sharing videos and images of the sexual abuse of children using their service.
The Americans then contacted the RCMP, who then notified Toronto police.
Bai said police raided the home of a man in the Bathurst Street and Sheppard Avenue West area on June 12, and seized a number of devices.
The devices allegedly contained videos of a man sexually abusing victims who Bai said were “pre-pubescent.”
Three have been identified so far.
Bai said the children were lured at two churches in 2018, Word and Life Christian Assembly on Coldstream Avenue and Jesus Reigns Forever International Ministry on Finch Avenue West.
“The Filipino community – they’re very trusting in nature and they welcomed him into their family,” Bai said, adding the suspect attended these churches for at least a year. “They trusted him – he had access to their children and I believe he used this trust and broke this trust.”
Bai said some of the video evidence they have collected indicates some of the assaults took place inside the churches.
Police have informed the pastors and wider community at each place of worship.
“They were extremely shocked and devastated by this news,” Bai said.
A suspect identified as William Christopher Claveria was arrested and charged with 22 offences, including making child pornography, sexual assault, sexual interference, distribute child pornography and voyeurism.
He is expected to appear in court next on Friday morning at 1000 Finch Avenue West.
Bai said they have evidence that assaults on other children occurred, beyond the three they have identified so far. However they don’t yet know who the other children are.
“I have pictures and videos of children who had interactions with Mr. Claveria who I would like to identify.”
Claveria’s image was circulated to the public on Thursday.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-8500.