TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Two Canadians have been arrested for sexual crimes against children on the internet after the work of a Wabaunsee County Detective uncovered a 2-year-old victim in Kansas and a 13-month-old victim in Nova Scotia.
Wabaunsee Co. Sheriff Rob Hoskins says in a Facebook post he received a letter from Canadian authorities which praised the hard work and dedication of Detective Eric Kirsch as he brought a child sex predator to justice.
The letter from the Hamilton Police Service in Ontario, Canada, said on April 14, 2021, Detective Kirsch continued an investigation that started when school resource officer Deputy Angie King advised the Wabaunsee Co. Sheriff’s Office of a situation in the Mission Valley school district.
The report by Deputy King stated a female student had been threatened by someone she had met through Snapchat. It said the suspect, who was unknown at the time, coerced her into filming sexually explicit videos of her 2-year-old niece which she was made to send to the suspect.
Detective Kirsch was given the device the student used to talk with the suspect. He began a ruse, an online undercover operation, which continued the conversation with the suspect. This was done to gather evidence of the offenses and help identify who the suspect was in order to hold them responsible for the crimes committed.
Through his efforts and relentless pursuit of the offender, the Hamilton Police Service said Detective Kirsch was able to identify the suspect as Joshua Bryk, 22, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
With the evidence gathered, the Candian police service said Kirsch contacted its Internet Child Exploitation Unit to build a relationship with the investigative team and continue the evolving investigation. A partnership was built between Kirsch and Detective Constable Adam Baglieri to arrest, collect evidence and hold Bryk accountable for the crimes he was committing against children.
The letter said a forensic examination of the data and devices seized from Bryk found videos that were reported about the victim in Wabaunsee Co. Bryk was arrested and charged with two counts of possessing child pornography and a single count of accessing child pornography.
With Bryk in custody, Hamilton police said Kirsch continued the investigation and was able to identify another potential child victim, who he believed to live in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, Canada. Kirsch and Baglieri then notified the authorities in that Province.
In July 2021, the letter stated an arrest was made in Nova Scotia and a female had been charged with making child pornography, distributing child pornography, sex assault and sexual interference for offenses she committed against her 13-month-hold son, all under the direction of Bryk.
As a result, the police service said Bryk was then charged with another two counts of making child pornography and two counts of arranging a sexual offense against a child.
The letter stated Kirsch’s work directly resulted in two children being rescued from further sexual abuse at the hands of their caregivers and other sexual predators like Bryk.
Hamilton Police Service said the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children has significantly increased in recent years due to access and availability of technology throughout the world. It said these types of crimes are often borderless as internet globalization allows suspects to speak with, groom and offend children in any country.
The Police service also said the arrest of Bryk was relatively quick compared to other crimes of the same nature. While offenders can use technology to their advantage, it said police too can use the same technology to their advantage.
“Detective Eric Kirsch displayed exceptional commitment to his vocation and his community through his diligent efforts and relentless pursuit of offenders,” said Deputy Chief Ryan Diodati of the Hamilton Police Service. “He was very complementing of our service and our personnel, however, I cannot stress enough that his direct efforts alone, led to the rescue of two known child victims and the arrest of a sexual predator who will now be held accountable for the crimes he committed.”
Sheriff Hoskins said he and all residents of Wabaunsee Co. should be thankful of Kirsch’s hard work and dedication to the community.
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