East Gwillimbury man charged with child exploitation offences

Police allege the suspect posted online classified ads with the purpose of sexually assaulting the young children of single parents

York police allege that a 33-year-old man posted classified ads online with a disturbing purpose in mind, and he has now been arrested for child exploitation offences.

According to police, the ads looked for single parents with babies or toddlers, specifically in the Newmarket area.

The ads date back to 2012, according to Sgt Clint Whitney.

"Some of the ads appear at face value to be innocuous or even, for lack of a better term, romantic in nature," Sgt Whitney says.

Police say some of the ads included prefessional-looking photos of babies, while others had sexually explicit content.

"The author of the ads was actually interested in developing a relationship with a single parent exclusively for the purpose of gaining access to the children for a sexual purpose," Sgt Whitney says, based on an investigation.

The suspect was arrested when he met with a woman he believed to be a single mother from Toronto. She turned out to be an undercover officer.

After the arrest, police executed a search warrant at a home in East Gwillimbury where they say child pornography was seized.

33-year-old Frank Cunningham faces six child exploitation-related and child pornography charges. He was already on the Ontario Sex Offender Registry, according to police.

Police believe there may be more victims. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 1-866-876-5423 ext 7078 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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