Child luring charge against Surrey, B.C., Mountie approved
A Surrey, B.C., RCMP officer has been charged with luring a child following a Surrey Creep Catcher sting that was broadcast live online. (Postmedia File Photo)
VANCOUVER - A charge of luring a child has been approved against an RCMP constable who was the target of a vigilante sting operation in Surrey.
Const. Dario Devic has been charged with luring a child, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Ministry of Justice’s Criminal Justice Branch.
The charge comes following an investigation into an incident alleged to have occurred between Aug. 29 and Sep. 7 in or near Surrey, during which Devic is accused of communicating with a person he believed was under the age of 16.
“It is an offence to communicate by means of telecommunication with a person who is under the age of 16, or who is believed to be under the age of 16, for the purpose of facilitating sexual conduct,” the statement said.
Devic had been the target of a sting by Creep Catchers, a group of vigilantes who pose as minors on dating sites and then lure suspected predators to public locations, where they are filmed and subsequently shamed on social media.
On Sep. 7, the Surrey chapter of Creep Catchers gathered in a local parking lot to confront a man who had been communicating with a decoy working with the group.
In messages exchanged online, the man sent photos of a man wearing a police uniform and a man wearing a towel.
When a man arrived to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old girl, members of the vigilante group used a video camera to live-stream the encounter near Central City.
In one video, Creep Catchers Surrey chapter president Ryan LaForge can be heard walking up to the man and saying, “Officer —, how are you? Creep Catchers.”
Surrey RCMP arrested Devic on Sep. 9 and he was later released on bail. A second charge of breach of trust was not approved.
“After a full review of all the available evidence, the Branch has concluded that the charge of Breach of Trust by a Public Officer does not meet the Branch’s charge assessment standard,” the statement said.
Devic is scheduled to appear Wednesday in Surrey Provincial Court.
– with a file from Stephanie Ip