RCMP say a U.S. man will spend 20 years in prison after using social media to stalk three Canadian children and persuade them into sharing sexually explicit photos and videos.
According to police, 37-year-old Kevin Robert McCarty of Happy Valley, Oregon, was sentenced on Oct. 13. They say the investigation began after Comox Valley RCMP got information that a local youth was being sexually exploited online in May 2021.
As the investigation went on, officers identified a suspect over the border and additional reports were gathered by West Shore and Surrey RCMP along with other municipal police forces.
RCMP say they told U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and they took over the case with assistance from investigators in the various Canadian jurisdictions.
According to police, they found McCarty – who went by the alias “Robbie MacKenzie” – had persuaded the youth to send sexually explicit photos to him using Snapchat and Instagram beginning in July 2020 until November 2021.
They add McCarty would threaten the youth victims by saying he would send the photos he already had to their friends and family members if they refused to send more, which he did on several occasions according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Officers added that on at least two occasions, McCarty said his victims could either comply or commit suicide.
McCarty was charged in November 2021 for sexually exploiting children, distributing child pornography, cyberstalking, enticing a child online and transferring obscene material to a minor.
He was arrested on Nov. 18 after a search of his residence where he lived with his mother, sister and sister’s family. The department of justice added he and pleaded guilty to one count of enticing a minor online and two counts of sexually exploiting children on Feb. 15, 2023.
Officer in charge of the Comox Valley RCMP Mike Kurvers says this investigation highlights the importance of teamwork between agencies.
“Online exploitation poses a grave threat to the well-being of our youth. We commend the dedication and collaboration of our investigative unit and counterparts in Canada and the United States in ensuring that justice is served,” said Kurvers.
“Special recognition is also extended to our invaluable criminal analyst whose expertise played a pivotal role in this investigation. Her meticulous work significantly contributed to the successful outcome.”
More information on how to keep your kids safe online can be found here.