Notes accusing local businessman of pedophilia prompt RCMP probe
By: By Megan Sarrazin
| Posted: Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 06:00 am
An individual warning the public about an alleged pedophile has sparked an RCMP investigation.
The investigation, however, is not focused on the allegations of pedophilia but rather on the defamation of a local businessman.
An Oakmont resident discovered a hand-written letter-sized note duct-taped to her neighbourhood Canada Post mailbox on Tuesday afternoon.
The note named a St. Albert businessman and his place of work and alleged he is a pedophile who impregnated his daughter’s best friend.
The note closed with the statement: “Let’s eliminate child predators from our community.”
“I go to the mailbox with my children and this is not something I would like them to be reading about,” said the resident who discovered the note. “Clearly this is the work of a desperate, frustrated individual.”
St. Albert RCMP Cpl. Laurel Kading said there is no indication the named businessman has a criminal record, as the allegations would suggest.
“It appears, quite possibly, that someone has a grudge against a person,” she said, adding the offence could prompt a civil lawsuit or criminal charges.
The named businessman did not want his name published, but called the allegations “obscene” and “baseless.” He declined to comment further, adding that talking about the allegations gave them some kind of credibility.
RCMP are investigating the incidents from this week, which had notes posted in North Ridge and Oakmont. This is not the first time RCMP have investigated notes of this nature, Kading said, adding another police file involving the same man dates back to March 2012.
“What we’re led to believe is that the person who’s the victim in this has received multiple occurrences of this kind from as early as August 2011,” she said.
Police looked into persons of interest in the March 2012 investigation, but no charges were laid.
The investigation is ongoing and Kading said criminal charges are a possibility.
Criminal charges could include defamatory libel or public mischief for making a false statement accusing someone of an offence, both of which carry a prison sentence of up to five years.
The Criminal Code of Canada defines defamatory libel as a published statement “that is likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or that is designed to insult the person of or concerning whom it is published.”
The statement is considered published when it is exhibited in public for the purpose of being read or seen.
These charges apply to the perpetrator, as well as to individuals who pass on the information contained in the note.
“If people take that information and pass it on, they actually could be further defaming this person and could get themselves into trouble,” Kading said. “People should not believe everything that they read and should not pass on information that they don’t personally have proof of as to its accuracy.”
Anyone who comes across a note of this nature is advised to report it to RCMP at 780-458-7700.