Police given authorization to publish picture of youth suspected of grabbing the buttocks of a 13year old girl.

By Staff


January 7, 2014

The Regional Police Service has done something we don’t see very often; they published the photograph of a minor and provided the public with a copy of the document they took before a Justice of the Peace to get the authority to publish the picture.

The authority to publish the picture has limitation attached to it. It must be removed from wherever it is published by 11:5 p pm on January 10th, 2014.  How is that going to be enforced?

Unidentified male wanted for questioning on a sexual assault complaint.

Media were given a copy of the picture – the moment we publish it is out there for the world to see and it is all but impossible to erase once it’s public.

The youth, based on the photograph, looks like a high school or community college student.  Once someone at a high school sees the picture it gets routed to every person with a cell phone.

We are curious as to why the police took this action for an event that took place last October.  Here are the details.

On October 17, 2013 at 6:45 p.m., a 13-year-old girl was waiting in line at a Subway restaurant on Driftwood Drive when she was approached from behind and her buttocks were grabbed.  The offender did not converse with the victim and promptly left the establishment.

 The offender is described as male, white, 17 to 19 years of age, 5’8” tall, medium to heavy build, short dark brown hair with acne on his face.  He was wearing a dark-colored hoodie with ‘IRISH’ written in white lettering on the front and white laces protruding from the hoodie area, a white shirt underneath  with baggy blue jean shorts (tied in front), white socks and black runners. 

The police asked for and were given authority to publish the photograph of a youth suspected of grabbing the buttocks of a young woman in Burlington last October.  The time limit placed on the release of the photograph is highly unusual and suggests a lack of understanding of what happens to content when it appears on the internet.

The police asked for and were given a Judicial Authorization to release the suspect’s photo.   The photo is authorized to be posted until Friday, January 10th at 11:59pm.  That authorization is for the police website.  We see nothing in the Authorization that calls for the Gazette to take down what we put up on the 10th of January.

 The police ask that anyone with information concerning this offender to contact the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit at 905 465-8970, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting ‘Tip201’ with your message to 274637(crimes).

This action on the part of the Halton Regional Police Service does not appear to have been thoroughly thought out.

We will follow this one with considerable interest.

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