SURREY — A Surrey Mountie will appear in provincial court Wednesday afternoon, charged with one count of child luring.
Constable Dario Devic was arrested on Sept. 9 after Creep Catcher Surrey, a citizen group that aims to weed out “potential predators” and “blast” them in social media, did a sting outside a local mall.
A woman working with Creep Catcher Surrey posed as a 15-year-old girl and allegedly communicated with the officer online after posting an ad on Craigslist. A meeting was set up outside the Boston Pizza at Surrey Central Shopping Mall in Whalley and Creep Catcher Surrey president Ryan LaForge and his crew live-streamed the sting on the Internet.
Devic was originally charged with luring a child and breach of trust by a public officer, and released on bail. Today the Criminal Justice Branch confirmed the luring charge was sworn on Monday in Surrey provincial court but the breach charge has been stayed.
“After a full review of all the available evidence, the Branch has concluded that the charge of Breach of Trust by a Public Officer does not meet the Branch’s charge assessment standard,” said Dan McLaughlin, spokesman for the Criminal Justice Branch.
LaForge is not impressed. “That’s disgusting,” he told the Now. “Wow. That’s f—-d.”
According to Section 172.1 of Canada’s Criminal Code, governing internet luring, the Crown must prove an accused “believes” the person he or she was communicating with was a minor. A person found guilty of luring a minor on computer is “liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than ten years,” the code states.
The age of sexual consent in Canada was raised to 16 from 14 years on May 1st, 2008 under the Tackling Violent Crime Act.
Meantime, the Surrey McCatch Facebook page indicates a rally will be staged outside the courthouse. “We need to show them we mean business,” the message reads. “We are not going away and will not stay quiet. We won’t be censored we will be heard and do whatever it takes to keep our kids and our community safe.”
Devic has been suspended from duty.
Police are conducting an internal code of conduct investigation led by Surrey RCMP Professional Standards Unit with help from the BC Integrated Child Exploitation Unit and Surrey RCMP major crimes unit, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr said at a press conference in September, the day after Devic was arrested.