Friday, August 4, 2017

Man claiming to be Roman Catholic priest is arrested for sexual assaults on teenage boys

If a pervert is looking for sex with youths, it might seem easier to recruit victims by claiming to belong to an occupation that's prominently associated with such activity. As reported by Kevin Maimann of Metro News, August 1, 2017:

ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit has arrested a man who claimed to be a Catholic priest on sexual assault charges in connection with two teenage boys.

Detectives say Justin Georges Stephen Coulombe, 33, has identified as a clergy member publicly and online but has no affiliation with the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton or any other diocese in Canada or the U.S.

ICE began investigating in June after the mother of one of the alleged victims went to police with information about “sexually graphic messages” that had been exchanged online.

The relationship with the boy became sexual, investigators say.

“This case is troubling. It leads me to believe that a young man was groomed, and this contact that occurred in person was set up to take place over time,” said Det. Brian Cross with ICE.

Cross said the boy’s mother “absolutely did the right thing” in bringing the information to police.

The alleged offenses against the second teenage boy happened online, where the victim was sexually extorted through online images.
Cross said the alleged assaults took place under various online platforms.

Both victims were under age 16.

“The victims in this case will require a lot of support moving forward for many years to come in order to cope emotionally with what’s been done to them,” Cross said.

ICE investigators worked with Edmonton police to execute a search warrant on a residence in north Edmonton on July 27, where they seized “multiple electronic devices” and arrested Coulombe.

Officers found child pornography images on the machines.

Several vigilante websites, like Encycopedia Dramatica, have compiled web posts that link to someone believed to be Coulombe talking openly about being attracted to boys, under various online identities, but Cross said no official complaints were made against the suspect until the teen boy’s mother came forward.

Coulombe moved to Edmonton from Langley, B.C. in January 2017, after previously having lived in Edmonton.

Police believe there may be more victims in Alberta or B.C. and are asking anyone with more information to come forward.

Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton spokesperson Lorraine Turchansky said she has not heard of any other cases involving impersonation of Catholic priests in the city but that it's important people know Coulombe is not affiliated with the church.

“It’s hurtful, really, when someone does that and tarnishes the image of our priests, who work so hard to serve people and to help people and not to harm them," Turchansky said.

Coulombe has been charged with:

- luring to commit the making of child pornography (x2)

- luring to commit an offence against a child

- sexual interference

- invitation to sexual touching

- sexual assault

- possession of child pornography

- extortion

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