Former Calgary man convicted of multiple charges, including luring U.K. preteen over the internet

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Kevin Martin

Beland said Calgary police were alerted to a child luring crime by police in Suffolk, England, after the father of a 12-year-old boy found a disturbing video on his son's iPad on Dec. 10, 2018

Posing as a young female, a former Calgary man was able to get a U.K. boy to send him sexually explicit photos over the internet, court heard Tuesday.

Michael Christopher Love admitted to that allegation, as well as amassing a child pornography collection of nearly 50,000 images and 8,700 videos, as his lawyer invited a Calgary judge to convict him on six charges.

Defence counsel Yoav Niv made the move to preserve Love’s right to appeal his conviction based on rulings Justice Earl Wilson made on pre-trial motions admitting certain evidence.

An agreed statement of facts to support the convictions was entered by Crown prosecutor Aurelie Beland.

Beland said Calgary police were alerted to a child luring crime by police in Suffolk, England, after the father of a 12-year-old boy found a disturbing video on his son’s iPad on Dec. 10, 2018.

“Between Nov. 1, 2017 and Dec. 20, 2018, Mr. Love engaged in online communications with (the victim) a young boy in the United Kingdom, requesting sexually explicit images and videos,” Beland told Wilson.

She said Love, then 23, knew he was communicating with a 12-year-old and “created a fictitious persona of a young girl to initiate communication and continue corresponding with the young boy.”

During their chats Love was able to convince the child to send him sexually explicit photos and videos that constituted child pornography.

A subsequent investigation of Love’s electronic equipment following his arrest by Calgary police determined he used the same ruse to communicate with other children between 11 and 16 years of age, Beland said.

“Mr. Love portrayed himself as a young girl between 12 years old and 15 years old.”

A search of an Internet Protocol address linked to the email account communicating with the boy led police to Love’s northwest Calgary address.

There they seized computer equipment from the offender, who now lives in Grande Prairie.

“The accused’s collection of child pornography included approximately 49,072 images … and 8,779 videos,” Beland said.

The child pornography depicted mostly males with the victims ranging in age from infants to approximately 16 years old, with the bulk of them boys between eight and 14 and included sexual acts between adults and children.

Beland is seeking a sentence in the range of 7 1/2 to eight years, while Niv argued a prison term of five to six years.

At the lawyers’ request, Wilson delayed his sentencing decision until after a March trial where Love faces an unrelated charge of sexual assault.

He remains on bail pending that ruling.

Original Article: https://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/former-calgary-man-convicted-of-multiple-charges-including-luring-u-k-preteen-over-the-internet