A Grande Prairie, Alberta man with links to British Columbia has been charged with a number of serious sexual offences, including child luring and making child pornography, and RCMP are concerned there could be more victims out there.
According to a Jan. 31 press release from the RCMP K Division Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams, “Jonathon Bruenig, 34, was arrested on January 23, 2018; however, the suspect’s name will be unfamiliar to suspected victims. ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit alleges that Bruenig used a number of online personas, often posing as a teenage girl on social media, in order to lure teenage boys.”
Contacted by phone at his Edmonton, AB office Feb. 1, ALERT spokesperson Mike Tucker said Bruenig is alleged to have approached a young male in Grande Prairie with the intention of sexually assaulting the boy, and a family member, when told of the encounter, reported it to police.
Bruenig was subsequently arrested at his Grande Prairie home and, after investigation, charged with two counts of child luring, two counts of making child pornography, two counts of distributing child pornography and two counts of possessing child pornography.
Tucker said as the investigation continued, Bruenig’s alleged social media activities suggested possible victims could be out there whom police are not aware of. “We believe he was creating identities on social media platforms,” said Tucker Thursday.
Allegedly, “He would use that as a gateway to meet young boys.” Tucker stated that police believe the conversations would become sexual, including the swapping of photos and videos. Tucker said RCMP believe Bruenig sent stolen photos to alleged victims. “So these young boys thought they were talking to a real woman.” Tucker said this case perfectly illustrates how anonymity can make the internet a dangerous place.
Tucker also said, with the assistance of Australian police, Bruenig will be charged with an instance of luring a child which is alleged to have occurred in that country.
RCMP state Bruenig has lived in the Grande Prairie and Kelowna areas, and has also been involved with a number of junior hockey teams. Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to call 780-509-3363 or submit information anonymously at cybertip.ca or contact their local Crime Stoppers organization.
Bruenig’s first court date on these charges is Feb. 12 in Grande Prairie.