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Canadian authorities bust child porn rings

By Paula Newton, CNN
updated 2:39 PM EST, Thu February 2, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: At least 22 victims have been identified, police say
  • Charges include sexual assault and possessing child pornography
  • The victims are receiving treatment, authorities say
  • Police expect more arrests in the case

Ottawa (CNN) -- At least 60 people have been charged in connection with one of Canada's largest ever pornography busts, authorities said Thursday.

The arrests came after sweeping raids on alleged child pornography rings throughout Ontario, officials said.

"In all, 60 people have been charged with 213 offenses and we anticipate that there will be several more charged," said Det. Sgt. Frank Goldschmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police.

"Charges included sexual assault, children luring, possession of child pornography, making available child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and accessing child pornography," he added.

At least 22 victims have been identified, authorities said, and the child victims are now in care and are receiving medical and trauma assessments. Police are still trying to identify more victims that may have been abused.

Police also said they confiscated large amount of money, drugs and weapons while carrying out search warrants on 76 properties throughout Ontario in various urban and rural locations.

Authorities say the bust is a warning to criminals that they cannot hide these crimes and will be stopped when trying to harm children.

Three of those arrested are under the age of 18.

Dozens charged in Canada child porn bust

The investigation involved as many as 20 police forces in the region.

Authorities admit the scope of child pornography on the Internet continues to pose a challenge.

"Keeping on top of the types of storage and transmission devices that these criminals use is also a never-ending challenge. We continue to make best possible use of the tools and limited resources we have to hunt down child predators and finally put them out of business," said Inspector Scott Taylor of the Ontario Provincial Police.

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