After an extensive investigation by the RCMP, a 20-year-old Yellowknife man has been sentenced to five years in jail on various child pornography charges.
Chase Straker, who was 18 and 19 years old at the time of the offences, came to the attention of the Northwest Territories Internet Child Exploitation Unit (ICE) on two occasions in 2021 for child pornography offences, also known as child sexual abuse material (CSAM). A social media app was utilized by Straker to transmit CSAM and a cloud storage service for saving some of the material.
The NT ICE Unit partnered with the Yellowknife RCMP to execute a search warrant at Straker’s residence in April of 2022. The search resulted in the discovery of the CSAM on two different phones. ICE also discovered explicit chats between Straker and several youths under the age of 18, one of whom was a 15-year-old girl from the United States. Straker convinced these youths to send him intimate images, and then used the content to blackmail the youths into sending more images, threatening to release the images publicly.
The CSAM was discovered on Straker’s devices through extensive forensic examinations, as these kinds of investigations often take several months to complete. With the assistance of the Canadian Center for Child Protection (C3P), victim and community impact statements were read during the sentencing on Nov 6th.
The Canadian Center for Child Protection is a national charity dedicated to the personal safety of all children. In addition to several other services, they have created support services for victims of online exploitation. C3P has learned through operating Cybertip.ca and other initiatives, that child sexual abuse material not only directly impacts survivors, it also dramatically alters their parents’ family’s lives.
The link between the production, accessing, possession and transmitting of child sexual abuse material and the harm to children is never ending. Survivors of CSAM live with ongoing trauma for the rest of their lives, as they are continuously re-victimized every time another offender accesses, possesses and transmits the material after its production. They often live their lives in constant fear of offenders who have seen the CSAM, recognizing them, attempting to contact them, and in some cases, people stalking them or their families.
Straker plead guilty to transmitting child pornography, possession of child pornography and extortion between Sept 2021 and April 2022.
In addition to the five-year jail sentence, Straker was sentenced to 10 years of a prohibition order with several conditions, some of which include to stay away from public parks, playgrounds and places were people under the age of 16 are expected to be present. He is not allowed to be alone in the presence of anyone under the age of 16 without another adult present who is aware of his convictions.
Straker must not be employed or volunteer in any capacity that involves being in a position or trust towards teens under 16 and is banned from maintaining a social media profile, except for work purposes. He must not communicate online with anyone under the age of 16 and will be placed on the sexual offender registry for 20 years following his release from jail.