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Police investigating more victims of child lurer

Vernon Courthouse
November 13, 2013 - 12:27 PM

VERNON - The number of complainants in a child pornography case may have risen to seven from two.

David Willerth, 39, faces charges of luring, invitation to sexual touching, obtaining sexual services of a person under 18, possession of child pornography and making or publishing child pornography.  He was arrested July 17 after police searched his Vernon home and seized computers and other associated material. He has been in custody ever since.

In Vernon Provincial Court Wednesday, Judge Mark Takahashi asked Crown and defence lawyers why Willerth’s case is moving so slowly.

Defence lawyer Claire Abbott said Willerth has provided a “full and frank” confession.

“It’s not looking like it will go to trial,” she said.

However, lack of disclosure from the Crown has resulted in delays, Abbott said.

Crown lawyer Shirley Meldrum said the police investigation is ongoing, and the number of complainants has risen from two to between six and seven. She said she’s disclosed what evidence she has to the defence.

Despite the fact that new information against Willerth may arise as the investigation progresses, Takahashi said there’s no reason to delay the matter any further.

“Let’s deal with those 19 (counts),” Takahashi said.

Willerth’s next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 27, at which time Takahashi expects to hear whether the accused is pleading guilty or not guilty.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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