Man who exposes suspected pedophiles commended by victim of notorious online predator
Posted July 13, 2015 8:52 pm.
Last Updated July 13, 2015 9:01 pm.
This article is more than 5 years old.
A survivor of one of Canada’s most notorious and prolific online predators is commending a Mississauga man for his efforts to expose suspected pedophiles, despite a warning from police that his vigilantism could be doing more harm than good.
Last week, CityNews aired the story of Justin, a 28-year-old construction worker by day who poses as a young boy or girl on adult dating sites. Under the guise of meeting these children, Justin lures the men to parking lots in the Greater Toronto Area where he confronts them with a camera.
He later posts photos and videos of the men on his Facebook page.
Justin’s story has made the rounds on social media, especially among those whose lives have been devastated by abuse.
Alycha Reda was one of Mark Bedford’s many victims. Bedford was sentenced to three years in prison in 2008 after coercing girls — mostly between the ages of nine and 11 — to commit lewd acts on webcams. The Ontario man threatened to send explicit emails to the victims’ families if they didn’t comply.
“There were over a hundred girls reported,” Reda told CityNews via Skype, before describing some of his vile crimes. “He made a 12-year-old girl perform sexual acts on her dog. The two sisters that came forward from Edmonton, they had to perform sexual acts on each other.”
Reda saw Justin’s story on Glenn Canning’s Facebook page. Canning is the father of Rehtaeh Parsons, the teen who committed suicide after photos of her being sexually assaulted were spread online.
Reda instantly became a fan of Justin and his crusade to protect children.
“His work is amazing, what he’s doing, exposing these people to the public,” she said.
In a tweet, she called him her “hero” and said she wanted to meet him.
But Toronto police aren’t as enthusiastic about Justin’s tactics, regardless of his seemingly good intentions.
Det. Const. Amy Davey of the Sex Crimes Unit says only police can truly stop a predator — by putting the wheels of the law in motion.
“In these cases where someone is outing someone as a pedophile or creating these videos and posting them online, you have to keep in mind that that’s actually not preventing him from offending again,” Davey said.
“What is going to prevent him is being arrested and hopefully getting a conviction that will restrict the use of the internet.”
“And that’s why I do believe that the public should let these types of investigations be in the hands of police,” Davey stressed. “That way we aren’t ending up with sort of a public shaming, but we’re ending up with a conviction.”
Reda says she has lost faith in the justice system, and applauds Justin’s tenacity.
After violating the conditions of his release, Bedford was sent back to prison in 2013. He’s scheduled to be released next month and Reda can only imagine how things may have been different if someone like Justin intercepted him before he could wreak havoc on so many lives, including hers.
“If he would have been online when Bedford was doing this, maybe I wouldn’t have gone through what I’m going through,” she said.
“I just want him to be careful.”