Attendees of MECC 2018 will hear from leading professionals in the field of missing and exploited children and the lessons they’ve learned on the ground in recent high profile cases. Click on the titles below to learn more about the speakers and topics you’ll hear about this year.
Dr. Anna Salter
As a well-known clinical psychologist, Dr. Salter is a leader in her field, helping the world better understand child sexual predators. For years she has treated the victims of violent sex crimes and studied the offenders, authoring several books, including Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders: Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children, along with producing the poignant video series, “Truth, Lies and Sex Offenders.”
Dr. Salter will dispel myths about child sex offenders, address whether those who use child pornography typically have hands on victims, and discuss the characteristics of female sex offenders and their similarities and differences from male sex offenders. Her sessions will also explore some of the challenges our systems encounter in uncovering and adequately addressing child sexual abuse both from a child protection and criminal perspective.
Dr. Rebecca Bailey
Dr. Rebecca Bailey is a clinical psychologist and forensic psychologist who specializes in complex case scenarios, including experiences of extreme trauma. She is a nationally recognized expert in non-familial and familial abductions, and is the founder and director of Transitioning Families, an innovative family-based program for therapeutic reunification and reintegration in California. Dr. Bailey is a regular consultant to and referral for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is a regular consultant to judicial entities. She is an active member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
She presents widely on a variety of topics, including the premise of creating “protected spaces” for survivors of traumatic crimes, and the importance of active collaboration among involved systems. Dr. Bailey is an advisor for the JAYC Foundation and the clinical director for their programs.
This case study presentation will primarily focus on R. v. Bannon, a recently concluded B.C. Supreme Court case where the offender was convicted of procuring nine vulnerable teenagers into prostitution and living on the avails. Each speaker will offer their perspectives on how the case was investigated and managed – from the inception of the investigation through to sentencing. Presenters will discuss the challenges presented by managing not only the various young complainants, but also the vast amount of material generated during the course of the investigation and the successes achieved through the collaborative working relationship between support workers, investigators and the Crown counsel.
This presentation will also touch on R. v. Albashir and Mohsenipour. In February 2018, these offenders were convicted of multiple counts of human trafficking of two young women and a teenage girl in connection with offences committed over three years against the victims in Vancouver, Coquitlam and Edmonton. Presenters will cover what the Counter Exploitation Unit does, the Vancouver Police Department Sex Work Enforcement Guidelines and how those guidelines adapt into practical investigations.
This will be presented by:
Detective Constable Amanda Packham, Vancouver Police Department, Counter Exploitation Unit
Detective Constable Amanda Packham has been a police officer with the Vancouver Police Department since 2009. She worked as a patrol officer in various areas of Vancouver for seven years. For the past year and a half she has worked as a detective with the VPD Counter Exploitation Unit. She has presented to other police departments and community groups across the Lower Mainland educating them about the mandate and focus of the VPD CEU as they are the only unit of their kind in British Columbia.
Detective Constable Zach Guy, Vancouver Police Department, Counter Exploitation Unit
Detective Constable Zach Guy has been a member of the Vancouver Police Department for 12 years, and has spent the past three and half years in the Counter Exploitation Unit. DC Guy has recently moved to the Criminal Intelligence Section.
Brenda Lochhead, Victim Support Worker, Family Services of Greater Vancouver
Brenda Lochhead is a victim support worker and advocate who has worked in this sector for over 20 years. Her experience includes providing wraparound services to clients that will facilitate the long term wellness of victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Brenda has spearheaded the development and implementation of a coordination framework for supporting trafficked and exploited individuals in collaboration with the VPD CEU, where she is the embedded support worker, and presented with the CEU regularly to increase awareness of trauma-informed practice for supporting victims of exploitation and trafficking.
Geordie Proulx, Crown Counsel, B.C. Prosecution Service
Geordie Proulx, Q.C. has been a trial prosecutor in B.C. for nearly 30 years. He has extensive experience in conducting major prosecutions, mostly homicides, but also has done pimping cases and sexual exploitation/assault cases – both historical and non-historical.
Project RIE was an international investigation that started with a small town Canadian man living a double-life as a darkweb mastermind. His identification and arrest has led to the rescue of over 100 child sexual abuse victims from around the world. This presentation will include topics surrounding TOR/darkweb, innovative victim identification techniques and case studies on some of the 100 rescued child victims.
International partnership was at the core of this investigation and is essential when conducting online investigations, particularly when offenders exist in a landscape of anonymity. Uncovering the cloak that camouflages their identity requires creative thinking, new investigative techniques and close partnership within the law enforcement community. Several case studies will be shared to highlight the effectiveness of international partnerships.
This case study will be presented by:
Detective Constable Janelle Blackadar, Toronto Police Service, Child Exploitation Section
Janelle Blackadar is a police officer for the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Police Service and a member of the Ontario Provincial Strategy to Combat Child Exploitation. D.C. Blackadar conducts various Internet child exploitation investigations, but specializes as an online undercover officer acting in an undercover capacity both as a child and as an offender. D.C. Blackadar has been conducting online undercover investigations since 2007 and has been teaching at a national and international level since 2008.
Detective Constable Amy Davey, Toronto Police Service, Child Exploitation Section
Detective Constable Amy Davey has been working within the Internet Child Exploitation field for six years. Over the last three years, she has been positioned as a Victim Identification Officer. D.C. Davey has attended two Europol initiated International Victim Identification Taskforces. In 2017, she became a certified CEPOL trainer and has taught victim identification techniques to officers within Canada and the European Union. D.C. Davey continues to develop new techniques to identify child victims of sexual abuse.
In spring 2015, a female reported to Northern Alberta Internet Child Exploitation (NAICE) investigators that she had been exchanging messages with a man on CraigsList when he alluded to wanting to engage in a sexual relationship with her and her child. NAICE launched an undercover investigation with the suspect via Craigslist. Following a similar conversation to the one reported, the target was arrested and charged. Forensic examination of the device seized during the arrest revealed that the offender was attempting to arrange multiple sexual relationships with women who were willing to involve their children.
Detective Brian Cross of NAICE will present the case study, discussing the pitfalls of an investigation with an overly-involved member of the public who inserted herself into the investigation and caused significant time delays, as well as expiring records, and suspended accounts with no retained information. He will cover the successes gained by having informed forensic technicians, and outline the challenges of the follow up interviews with the accused during an investigation that identified multiple additional criminal conversations and several additional female offenders.
This case study will be presented by:
Detective Brian Cross, NAICE Response Teams
Det. Brian Cross has been a member of the Edmonton Police Service since 2005. During that time he has worked in front line response as a general duty member and squad supervisor, neighbourhood foot patrol (street crimes), Criminal Investigation Section as a General Investigator and Supervisor of the Detainee Management Unit. He is currently an investigator in the NAICE unit.
Missing for six days, 11-year-old Teresa Robinson’s body was located in the woods of Garden Hill First Nation, a remote fly-in community in northern Manitoba. Her family hadn’t seen her since she left a birthday party not far from home. A 10-month long investigation led to the arrest of a 15-year-old from the community.
The presenters will explore the unique investigative challenges RCMP faced, including melting ice roads, the initial belief that Teresa was killed by an animal and the role DNA played. This case study will also outline the incredible response from the community, including the 700 search volunteers, and the full support of band members and leadership when the RCMP took the unusual step of asking for voluntary DNA samples from all males in the community ages 15 to 59.
This case will be presented by:
Cpl. Darrell Catellier
Cpl. Catellier has been a police officer with the RCMP since 2000. For the last eight years he has been an investigator within the Manitoba RCMP Major Crime Services, and during that time has investigated homicides throughout the province. He is currently with Project Devote, a joint task force with the Winnipeg Police Service, investigating cold cases of missing and murdered exploited persons. Cpl. Catellier was the lead investigator in the Teresa Robinson investigation.
Sgt. Dino Bairos
Sgt. Bairos has been a police officer with the RCMP since 2001. Since 2008 he has investigated homicides throughout Manitoba in both the Major Crime Unit and the Historical Case Unit. He is currently a Polygraph Operator with the RCMP Truth Verification Section. St. Bairos was one of the lead interviewers throughout the Teresa Robinson investigation.
Meredith Kirkland-Burke has worked for 20 years at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital as a social worker and Child Forensic Interviewer. Add to that Dayna Boyko’s decade of experience as a child sexual abuse investigator and Child Forensic Interviewer with the Toronto Police Service for 30 years of experience in the child interviewing field. Currently, they teach together at the Toronto Police College on the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse course, as well as participating on the Peer Review Team at the Child Advocacy Centre in Toronto.
They will walk attendees through take home lessons highlighting new developments in the field, discuss best practices, and the critical lessons learned over their time as interviewers. Meredith and Dayna believe that there is no such thing as a perfect child forensic interview, but that with pre-planning and an evidence informed approach, as well as a willingness for law enforcement and social work to work together as a team, that great results are possible.
This will be presented by:
Meredith Kirkland-Burke holds a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto. Meredith has been a member of the Suspected Child Abuse & Neglect Program (SCAN) at the Hospital for Sick Children since 1999, where she conducts forensic interviews with children and youth on behalf of police and child welfare professionals in complex cases of suspected child maltreatment. She also completes trauma assessment and treatment for identified victims of sexual abuse. Areas of clinical interest include forensic interviewing with preschool children and children and youth who present with reluctance during forensic interviews. Meredith has been certified as an advanced child forensic interviewer by the National Association of Child Forensic Interviewers Certification Board in the United States. She facilitates peer review with forensic interviewers and regularly provides training, consultation and education to various professionals related to forensic interviewing with children.
Detective Constable Dayna Boyko, Toronto Police Service, Child Exploitation Section
Dayna Boyko is a police officer for the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Police Service and a member of the Ontario Provincial Strategy to Combat Child Exploitation. D.C. Boyko is involved in various Internet child exploitation investigations, but specializes as a Forensic Child Interviewer. D.C. Boyko has been conducting child sexual abuse investigations since 2007, and is currently an instructor at the Toronto Police College on the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse course.
In spring 2017, Philip Chicoine was arrested after a months-long investigation by the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit that began with a report of child pornography shared on Skype. Although they were able to quickly find and charge the suspect, they were concerned that the crimes had moved beyond online to contact abuse based on the preliminary examination of seized devices. The investigation soon included Romania and the Philippines. Investigators uncovered a number of offenders who were live streaming the sexual abuse of children in exchange for money. As a result of the investigation more than 10 children have been rescued.
Cpl. Jared Clarke with the Saskatchewan ICE Unit will walk you through the case and show how he used recovered digital evidence to elicit more information from the suspect during in-person interviews, and uncovered the organized sexual abuse of children occurring across the globe. Magnet Forensics will explain how their software played a significant role in recovering and cataloging evidence from the devices seized during the investigation in a time efficient manner and how they are using innovation to improve speed and accuracy in CSEM investigations – something that is becoming more and more important given the challenges of R v. Jordan.
This case will be presented by:
Cpl. Jared Clarke
Cpl. Clarke has been an officer with the RCMP since 2005 and has been an investigator with the Saskatchewan ICE Unit for the past 6.5 years. Cpl. Clarke’s expertise has resulted in the successful prosecution of numerous cases, both nationally and abroad, and more importantly has resulted in the identification and rescue of dozens of child victims from their abusers. Both provincial and superior courts have recognized him as an expert in ICE investigations. Cpl. Clarke is an instructor at the Canadian Police College and has instructed hundreds of officers from across Canada, along with providing courses internationally to police agencies on covert online communication.
Every day there are thousands of children being bought and sold for sex – making it easier for abusers to exploit, advertise, and abuse children online. With Thorn’s Spotlight, up to eight kids per day are identified by law enforcement, reducing investigation time by up to 65%. Attendees will see firsthand how Spotlight equips law enforcement with easy-to-use tools to identify at-risk children; leveraging machine learning algorithms, link analysis tools, and image similarity searches. Attendees will also get a first look at Spotlight's future developments that will provide law enforcement with even more critical insights to break open their cases.
This will be presented by:
Bria King is a product manager at Thorn, primarily supporting Spotlight. She has a passion for working closely with Spotlight’s law enforcement users to understand their needs and translate them into features that allow them to identify victims of human trafficking. Bria is devoted to bringing awareness to the anti-trafficking movement, particularly in her home base of Portland, Oregon where she volunteers for a charity focused on ending the cycle of violence against women and children.
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) is the UK’s leading national charity offering support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and neglect. Over 20 years of supporting and listening to adult survivors of childhood abuse has given the charity unique insights, data, and knowledge around this terrible crime.
This presentation will focus on the myths around childhood abuse that far too many people – both professionals and the general public – hold. We will discuss why children generally do not disclose when the abuse first happens, what the barriers are to disclosure, and what the experience of adult survivors can teach us about how we can better respond and protect children today.
This will be presented by:
Gabrielle Shaw has led NAPAC as its Chief Executive since April 2015. She is a senior international NGO executive with over 11 years of leadership, policy, program development, and strategic decision-making achievements across charity, government, and statutory sectors. Gabrielle’s experience includes heading up the external affairs and research work of the global charity World Animal Protection to strengthen its campaigning on issues such as disease control and negotiations on SDGs, and leading international relations and external affairs for CEOP, the agency now based within the UK’s National Crime Agency and focused on combating child exploitation and abuse.