Moderator of Darknet Child Porn Sites Admits Guilt

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A 21-year-old Penticton man pleaded guilty to one count of importing and distributing child pornography in connection with multiple darknet child pornography sites. According to the prosecuting lawyer Andrew Vandersluys, the 21-year-old defendant either created or moderated the following darknet child abuse sites: the Giftbox Exchange, Childs Play, and Hurt Meh. The defendant, Tyler Walker, played a key role in all three.

A joint investigation between the RCMP and U.S. Homeland Security investigations led to Walker’s arrest. According to the authorities, Walker’s activities on a darknet child abuse site “led police directly to him through his IP address.” Walker started on the infamous Giftbox Exchange where he went using the handle “Drax.” As the Giftbox Exchange started to crumble, Walker provided his services to the owners of one of the more recently busted child pornography forums, Childs Play.

Taskforce Argos, the same Australian police group that brought down The Love Zone, infiltrated Childs Play and moved the forum to their servers in Australia. They controlled the site for 11 months before pulling the plug. Not before investigative journalists at VG discovered that Argos had been controlling the site, though. Vandersluys told the court that Walker played a key role in the creation of Childs Play. He also provided moderation services up until the day authorities arrested him. Although somewhat of an insignificant factor, Walker also came up with the name “Childs Play.”

In conversations on the Giftbox Exchange, the prosecutor said, Walker talked about creating a site that featured “hurtcore” child abuse. He called the site “Hurt Meh.” Vandersluys said that the aggravating factors in Walker’s case were not difficult to find. The crimes, he said, were far more significant than uploading or downloading child pornography. Defence lawyer Norm Yates argued that his client was fairly immature prior to the arrest but matured after it. The lawyer said that Walker now knew that what he had done was wrong.

In March 2017, police obtained a search warrant for Walker’s home that he shared with his mother. Officers arrested the man as he left the house. They then went back inside and into Walker’s room to find his computer open and logged into Childs Play. They claimed, at least. He has been sitting in Okanagan Correctional Centre since the arrest.

The prosecutor asked for a minimum of six years in prison. The defense argued that a sentence of less than two years would be appropriate; Walker could get the help that he claimed he needed and had previously sought. Walker wanted to serve time at Ford Mountain Correctional Centre in Chilliwack. He said that he would get the best treatment at that facility. “I have a future ahead of me, I have a long life ahead of me, and I don’t expect sympathy from anybody for what I’ve done,” Walker said. The defendant has already collected more than 400 days time served that would be credited to any upcoming jail time.

A judge will likely hand down a sentence in 2018.


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Author: C. Aliens

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