Man in custody on child pornography charges

By Cary Edmondson, CNN

An Ontario man was arrested on Friday and charged with child pornography offenses, officials said.

Heather Lynn Stephen, 25, of Toronto, was allegedly in possession of video files containing images of children as young as 1 year old engaged in sexual acts, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a news release.

No further details of the alleged offences were provided. It is not clear if Stephen has a lawyer.

The RCMP said the images were found while the police investigated another person after a tip from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States.

CNN has reached out to the Mounties for further information.

The alleged activity appears to have occurred in the year between 2018 and 2019, the RCMP said.

Stephen is charged with possession of child pornography, making child pornography, making and possessing child pornography for the purpose of making child pornography and two counts of distribution of child pornography.

He appeared in a Toronto court on Friday and was remanded into custody. The Ontario Court of Justice on Saturday issued a warrant for his arrest, according to Ontario Superior Court Chief Justice Daniel Couture.

At an unrelated court appearance Saturday, Stephen asked for the charges to be dropped. His bail hearing is set for December 11.

His last known address was in the city’s north end, CNN affiliate Global News reported.

A news release by the RCMP also said it was offering “surveillance assistance” to an unnamed individual.

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