Nine Halton men face child sex offences after Project Maverick crackdown


Published November 30, 2022 at 12:05 pm

A taskforce that brought together more than 30 partners from Canada and the US, including Halton police, has seen hundreds of child sex abuse charges laid.

The results of the investigations completed in October, named Project Maverick, were announced today in a video release showcasing members of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet.

During the month, 27 policing partners conducted 277 investigations, completed 168 search warrants and seized 1,032 devices. In total, 428 charges were laid against 107 people.

During the investigations, 61 victims were identified and referred to appropriate community-based resources for assistance, while an additional 60 children were safeguarded. There are 175 ongoing investigations where additional charges may be laid.

The Provincial Strategy includes two ministries (Attorney General and Solicitor General) and 27 participating police agencies.

Additional partners that participated in these investigations included OPP Digital Forensics, the FBI and Homeland Security.

“The Halton Regional Police Service is committed to working closely with our partner agencies to continue the fight against child exploitation,” said Halton police Inspector Chris Newcombe, Regional Investigative Services

“It remains our utmost priority to protect those most vulnerable, and lead them to safety while holding those responsible for these crimes accountable. I’m extremely proud of the tremendous work done by our officers as part of Project Maverick.”

Since the provincial strategy began in 2006, it has completed 65,564 investigations and laid 24,608 charges against 6,540 people. A total of 3,470 victims have been identified worldwide.

The investigations continue and anyone with information on these or any child exploitation investigations are asked to contact their local police. Report any instances of online child abuse to police or If a child is being harmed, call 9-1-1.

“The work done by the Provincial Strategy members take us to some of the darkest corners of society and exposes the horrific crimes committed every day against children,” said OPP Det.-Sgt. Jamie King, the project lead.

This is not a crime that can be combatted by our members alone and we ask everyone out there recognize the importance they play in protecting children. Report these crimes, remain vigilant and educate yourself.”

Here are the Halton people facing a myriad of child sex abuse charges:

  • Lance Crawford, 49, Burlington
  • Leigh Yerxa, 86, Georgetown
  • Matthew Phillips, 32, Burlington
  • Terry Mansley, 41, Milton
  • Daniel Zai, 43, Burlington
  • Kyle Duncan, 47, Milton
  • Robert Derham, 73, Burlington
  • Gerald (Jerry) Mathias, 43, Georgetown
  • Kenneth McClymont, 44, Burlington

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