Preliminary inquiry set to hear evidence in Vernon child pornography case
By Charlotte Helston
Provincial Courtroom 201 in the Vernon Courthouse.
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON /InfoTel Multimedia)
May 14, 2014 - 1:20 PM
VERNON - The courts will decide next month whether a man accused of luring girls online for sexual purposes will stand trial.
David Willerth, born in 1974, was arrested last summer on a slew of online luring and child pornography charges. A preliminary inquiry to determine if there is enough evidence for the matter to go to trial is scheduled for June 19.
Willerth was in Vernon Provincial Court several times over the past several months, and pleaded guilty to two of an original 19 counts against him. According to court documents, he now faces 25 counts, including communicating by computer to lure a child under 16, making or publishing child pornography and invitation to sexual touching of a person under 16. Crown lawyer Shirley Meldrum said at a November 2013 court appearance more victims have been coming forward as part of an ongoing police investigation.
RCMP and the B.C. Integrated Child Exploitation Unit initially investigated Willerth over two weeks and executed a search warrant in his home on 47 Avenue in Vernon July 17, 2013 where they seized computers and other items associated with the alleged crime.
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