Canadian man to be sentenced for 'child-sex tourism' in Kerry

The man pleaded guilty to three charges

A Canadian man in his thirties is being sentenced today after he pleaded guilty to three charges under the country’s child sex tourism legislation. The man flew to Ireland twice to have sex with a 13-year old girl he groomed online. 

Jashua Robert Tremblay first contacted the girl in 2012, when she was just 13 years old. He flew into Dublin airport and travelled to her hometown in Kerry to have sex with her a year later. 

It is understood that Tremblay told the girl he was 16 when they started talking online, before revealing his age ahead of his first trip to Ireland. 

Tremblay was spotted with the girl at a rental property in Kerry in November 2013. Locals raised concerns but Tremblay had returned to Canada by the time the Gardai had been alerted. They proceeded to launch a major investigation into the case. 

Gardai interviewed the girl and examined her electronic devices. Explicit images were exchanged between the girl and Tremblay. The Gardai contacted Interpol, who informed authorities in Canada. 

Tremblay pleaded guilty on three counts last December. These were online luring to facilitate the making of child pornography, online luring to facilitate sexual contact with a person under the age of 16, and sexual contact with someone under the age of 16. 

Canadian law states that citizens and permanent residents can be prosecuted for certain sexual offences committed in other countries.

Grooming:

Grooming is defined as 'when a person builds an emotion connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking'.

This can happen face-to-face or online. Many children don't understand that they have been groomed or that what is taking place is abuse.  

Actions of groomers include:

  • Pretending to be someone they are not, for example saying they are the same age online
  • Offering advice or understanding
  • Buying gifts
  • Giving the child attention
  • Using their professional position or reputation
  • Taking them on trips, outings or holidays.

The ISPCC and Vodafone put together the following advice for parents:

  • Build trust with your child to understand their online activity
  • Educate yourself and your child to the online world 
  • Communication is key - establish an open dialogue with your child 
  • Utilise safety features already in place 
  • Technology - embrace the benefits 
  • Eyes open - keep an eye out for any changes in your child's behaviour

For more information and support, click here.