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Police investigators believe more sexual assault victims have yet to come forward


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News release from ICE, the ALERT Internet Child Exploitation Unit

Edmonton man faces additional charges following sexual assault against children

The ALERT Internet Child Exploitation Unit (ICE) has laid 18 additional charges following further investigation into child luring, sexual assault and child pornography offences in the Morinville, Alta. area.

In July, Imesh Ratnayake, 21-years old, was charged in relation to child luring and sexual assault involving six children. He was later released on conditions.

Investigators now have reason to believe there could be upwards of 100 victims.

“The investigation into Mr. Ratnayake has been evolving since his first arrest last summer. ICE Forensic Technicians, our Criminal Analyst and investigators have discovered thousands of videos and images that depict upwards of potentially 100 additional, unidentified victims of child luring and sexual assault.  As a result of the ongoing investigation, Mr. Ratnayake was arrested for offences he is alleged to have committed against previously identified children in the Morinville area in the Fall of 2021. We want parents in the Edmonton Region to discuss this case with their children to determine if they communicated or met with Mr. Ratnayake”, said Sgt. Kerry Shima, ICE.

On December 9, 2022, Imesh Ratnayake was re-arrested and is now facing an additional 18 charges including sexual assault, making child pornography, and child luring.  He has been remanded in custody.

The additional charges against Ratnayake include:

  • Sexual assault;
  • Sexual interference;
  • Luring a child x6;
  • Making child pornography x2;
  • Obtaining sexual services for consideration from persons under 18;
  • Making sexually explicit material available to a child x5;
  • Utter threats;
  • Fail to comply with a release order.

It’s believed Imesh Ratnayake used several Snapchat profiles and may be known to his victims under the user names “islandsauce0129”, “monked.ruffy” or by his pseudonym Matt Wintoni or “mattwintoni”.

ICE is looking to identify and speak with potential victims and witnesses. Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to call their local police, the Edmonton Police Service or anonymously at Crime Stoppers.

The Zebra Centre for Child Protection, Morinville RCMP, K Division GIS, and the Edmonton Police Service assisted in the investigation, which began in June of 2022.

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Jordan Peterson interviews Alberta Premier Danielle Smith

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New surveillance teams led by the Alberta Sheriffs working with local police in rural communities

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More boots on the ground to fight rural crime

Rural crime continues to be a top concern among residents and businesses in rural Alberta, which is why Alberta’s government remains committed to addressing it through enhanced surveillance and other crime reduction initiatives. Alberta’s government invested $4.3 million for the Alberta Sheriffs to put more boots on the ground. This investment supported the establishment of two plainclothes teams – one in northern Alberta and one in southern Alberta – to support police in carrying out surveillance on criminal targets in rural areas.

Both teams are now fully staffed and operational, ready to fight crime in rural areas across Alberta. These rural surveillance teams will work to prevent crime, monitor agricultural theft and work in collaboration with local law enforcement to share intelligence and resources to keep Albertans and their property safe and secure.

“Criminals and organized crime are not welcome in Alberta. Full stop. The addition of two new surveillance teams will further support our law enforcement partners in stamping out criminal activity in Alberta’s rural areas. This is about supporting local investigations to address local crime in our smaller communities. Together, both teams will form another key component of Alberta’s efforts to combat crime and ensure Albertans feel safe at home and in their communities, regardless of where they live.”

Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services

The Alberta Sheriffs have an existing surveillance unit that is part of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) and focused mainly on serious and organized crime investigations. The new surveillance teams will fill a gap by helping rural RCMP detachments with local investigations.

“Through their specialized knowledge, training and experience, Alberta’s new surveillance teams are providing another important mechanism in the fight against crime in Alberta’s rural communities. Working in close collaboration with the RCMP and other policing agencies, their efforts will play a key role in gathering evidence and information that will help disrupt crime throughout the province.”

Mike Letourneau, superintendent, Alberta Sheriffs

“This announcement by the Alberta government and Minister Ellis is a positive step forward for the residents of Alberta, especially in rural areas. Targeting known criminals is a very effective way to reduce the level of crime taking place and will greatly assist the RCMP who have a vast area to police.”

Lance Colby, mayor, Town of Carstairs

“We are happy to hear about increased resources being allocated to assist our communities. Addressing rural crime is one of the top priorities of the Alberta RCMP, and our partners at the Alberta Sheriffs already play a vital role in keeping Albertans safe. The creation of these new surveillance teams will help augment our ongoing crime reduction strategies in Alberta communities, and we look forward to working with them going forward.”

Trevor Daroux, assistant commissioner, criminal operations officer, Alberta RCMP

The new surveillance teams are part of a suite of measures to expand the role of the Alberta Sheriffs and make Alberta communities safer. Other actions include the expansion of the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit – which uses legal sanctions and court orders to target problem properties where illegal activities are taking place – and the expansion of the RAPID Response initiative with funding for the Sheriff Highway Patrol to train and equip members to assist the RCMP with emergencies and high-priority calls.

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