Lil’wat band councillor arrested for luring child following undercover operation
Edward Luke Johnny allegedly exposed himself on camera to officer posing as 13-year-old boy
By Brandon Barret, Pique News, Sept 29, 2015
A Pemberton man and Lil’wat councillor has been arrested on charges of child luring and making sexually explicit material available to a child following an undercover operation by the RCMP.
The investigation into 40-year-old Edward Luke Johnny began in July when an officer from the B.C. Integrated Child Exploitation (BC ICE) Unit posing as a 13-year-old boy was contacted by the accused after posting on a popular online classifieds website, police said.
“Despite the ’13-year-old male” divulging his age very early on in the correspondence, Edward Luke Johnny continued to pursue the ‘boy’ in chat communications which became increasingly sexual in nature,” stated an RCMP release.
Several days later, Johnny allegedly exposed himself on camera to the officer, whom he still believed to be a teenage boy, according to police.
A search warrant was executed on Aug. 12 at the WorkBC Employment Services Centre in Whistler, where Johnny worked as a career counsellor, according to information sworn to obtain a search warrant obtained by the CBC.
A spokesperson for WorkBC told the news outlet Johnny resigned from his position following his arrest last month and that the company, which conducts background checks on all employees, will review its workplace policies in the aftermath of the arrest.
“This case highlights how quickly and aggressively child predators coerce children into online relationships,” said Acting Sergeant Hernan Topacio of the BC ICE unit in the release. “Remain informed of your child’s online activities. Educate yourself and your children about the dangers of communicating with strangers online. Any child with an online presence is a potential target for these manipulative and insatiable predators.”
Johnny has been charged with one count of luring a child and one count of making sexually explicit material available to a child.
He is scheduled to appear in North Vancouver provincial court on Oct. 14.
Johnny was re-elected to the Lil’wat Nation’s council this summer. At press time, a call to the band office has not been returned.
Child luring suspect allegedly exposed himself at Whistler WorkBC centre
WorkBC contractor reviewing policies after employee allegedly exposed himself from work computer
By Jason Proctor, CBC News, Sept 29, 2015
Lil’wat band councillor Luke Johnny has been charged with child luring after allegedly exposing himself online from his computer at a WorkBC employment centre to a police officer posing as a 13-year-old boy.
RCMP obtained a search warrant for the Whistler office where Johnny worked as a career counsellor after an investigation which culminated in the 40-year-old allegedly masturbating and engaging in sexual chat via Skype.
According to information sworn to obtain the warrant: “During the course of the chat … the user mentioned that he was at his work office (as a career counselor) and he worked there Monday to Friday.”
Co-worker in next room
Johnny, whose full name is Edward Luke Johnny, faces one count of telecommunicating to lure a child under the age of 14 and one count of making sexually explicit material available to someone under the age of 18.
Johnny was re-elected in July as a band councillor with the Lil’wat Nation. A receptionist at the band office couldn’t confirm whether he still serves in that capacity.
Calls to band administrators were not returned.
According to the search warrant, the investigation began in July, with an officer posting an ad on Craigslist.
A user named ‘Billy James’ allegedly responded and upon first contact, the officer identified himself as a 13-year-old boy. At first, the user replied “never mind far too young” — but then allegedly kept emailing.
‘Billy James’ allegedly asked to meet in person. According to the warrant, ‘Billy James’ was associated with Johnny’s Skype profile.
The document details a sexual chat with the undercover officer in which Johnny allegedly exposed himself and said that a co-worker was in the next room at the WorkBC Employment Services Centre.
The next month, another police officer called the office to confirm Johnny’s employment by allegedly posing as someone hoping to find work for her nephew.
Johnny was an employee of Training Innovations, a career development company contracted by the Ministry of Social Development to operate the WorkBC Employment Services Centre in Whistler.
A spokesperson for the company said Johnny resigned after his arrest last month. The company says it conducts background checks on employees and is reviewing workplace policies to see if they can be strengthened.
The ministry say it is aware of the investigation and that safety and security of clients is a primary concern for the 47 contractors who run the province’s 84 WorkBC employment centres.
Johnny’s next appearance is set for Oct. 14 in North Vancouver provincial court.
He could not be reached for comment. None of the charges have been proven in court.