WINNIPEG — RCMP officers have charged a Manitoba man with 67 charges following a child abuse investigation in which 11 victims were identified.
Officers in Lynn Lake, Man., began the investigation on July 23, 2020, following a report a man was allegedly sexually exploiting boys in the community.
During this investigation, Mounties said they discovered a suspect who had boys under the age of 16 over to his home, which was in breach of a court-imposed condition.
Police arrested Arnold Collier for sexual assault, sexual interference, and other related offences.
Collier is facing a total of 67 criminal charges. He remains in custody and is set to appear in court in Thompson, Man., on Sept. 3. None of these charges have been proven in court.
To date, police have identified 11 male victims, all under the age of 16. These boys told police they had been victims of sexual abuse from 2017 to the present day and allege they were groomed using rewards such as money, alcohol, and drugs.
Mounties searched the suspect’s home and seized a number of items, which they say is of “evidentiary value.”
“What occurred in this small community is devastating. The RCMP, along with external partners, are ensuring that support is being provided to all of the young victims,” said Sgt. Paul Manaigre of the Manitoba RCMP in a news release.
“Providing gifts is a common way offenders groom their young victims, it’s very important that parents are aware of this tactic and speak to their children about grooming.”
Officers are confident they have found all of the victims but said there is still a possibility that more are out there. Anyone who was a victim or has any information can contact police at 204-356-8862 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Mounties have also partnered with Klinic Community Health, which can accept reports from sexual assault survivors in Manitoba over the age of 16. Through Klinic, the survivors can remain anonymous and work with counsellors to determine their next steps. The Klinic 24/7 Sexual Assault Crisis Line is available at 1-888-292-7565.
RCMP officers continue to investigate.
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