A massive child pornography investigation led to 11 arrests in Saskatchewan and more than 150 across the country as part of an operation that began in February.
It also resulted in the rescue of five children who were in harm’s way.
The RCMP said that more than a million images were seized, some of which involved infants.
More than 40 police agencies were involved in the investigation, with the children being rescued in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
A press conference in Halifax on Thursday morning gave some sense of the horror involved.
“I cannot stress enough what these images are and what they are not,” RCMP Sgt. Michael Petrilli told a news conference in Halifax. “These images are not simply children having a bubble bath. They are clearly children that are in a situation where they are being sexually assaulted.”
At this point, rage has given way to sadness.
Human sexuality is a complicated thing. What appeals to one person doesn’t appeal to the next. But the mind reels at the thought that a helpless infant or child of any age can evoke a sexualized response.
People who enjoy this particular pastime make impassioned arguments about why they are entitled to their viewpoint. Those points fall on deaf ears here at the Daily Herald and with an overwhelming percentage of society.
Regardless of what appeals to a person, society has clearly defined boundaries that can’t be crossed without punishment. We hope that the punishments suit the crimes and perhaps dissuade other people from downloading that first image.
Anyone who views or traffics in child pornography has to know that the odds are ultimately against them.
Law enforcement continues to improve in its battle against this particular crime, which has no doubt seen a tremendous upsurge with the advent of the often-lawless Internet.
Where once pictures were probably mailed, now they can be shared instantly with encrypted email or grabbed from the dark corners of the Internet.
And that’s what makes us sad too.
These gentlemen know they will get caught eventually and still can’t help themselves from pursuing it.
What they involve themselves has a horrific real-world cost in the lives of the children who are affected.
The arrests will continue and so will the seizures of images and video. Investigators will no doubt be traumatized by the worst what they see.
There are no winners in this story. And no end lies in sight.
Let’s just hope that one day the rescued children find their way past the horrors they’ve been subjected to.
Prince Albert Daily Herald