The Toronto Police's Child Exploitation Section made a ground-breaking arrest recently. They arrested a man who was sexually abusing a young girl in his home and transmitting the scene via webcam on the Internet.
Two hours after an undercover agent saw the first images, the preschooler was rescued in the department's first case of witnessing a live assault, USA Today reports.
"My first reaction was that I wanted to reach through the monitor and grab the child," said Detective Paul Krawczyk, the undercover officer who witnessed the alleged assault Sunday.
He alerted police in St. Thomas, a city in southwestern Ontario where police believed the man lived, and they were able to track him down in two hours.
"To see this child and look that child in the eyes and realize that the child was live somewhere, being abused, we had to save the child right then," Krawczyk said at a news conference. "The minute we realized what was happening, we went as fast as we could."
The unit used software created by Microsoft designed to help police forces around the world hunt down child porn Internet traffickers.
Krawczyk, who was posing as an online pedophile, said he established a relationship with the man in an Internet chat room for pedophiles in January. After the detective gained his trust, the suspect on Sunday sent still images recorded on a webcam, which were transmitted in "real time" to a private site, which Krawczyk declined to disclose.
"I can't get into exactly what the program is," Krawczyk told The Associated Press. "But you see the images immediately. I was talking with him and, I can't get into the details of what were in the pictures, but I knew that it was happening live."