Sunday, 12 August 2012

Convicted child lurer arrested for breaching release conditions by contacting teen on Facebook

ABBOTSFORD — Jeffrey Goddard, the 22-year-old Abbotsford man released from jail in February after serving 16 months for luring young teenage boys online, will remain in custody while he awaits a hearing for breaking the terms of his release.

“The ruse is remarkably similar,” said Const. Ian MacDonald. “He creates a fictitious persona, often to befriend males under the age of 18, and then arranges to meet up with them.”

MacDonald said police were told by a member of the public in mid-July that Goddard had established contact with a teen through a fake Facebook profile, as he often did with other youth prior to his arrest in 2010. He was arrested on Thursday and will remain in custody while he awaits a hearing on Aug. 16.

MacDonald did not know if Goddard had initiated sexual contact with any victims since being released.

“We think it was the very alert citizen that brought it to our attention that precluded anything more sinister could have taken place in this instance,” he said. “If there is anyone that [is] regrettably a victim, we would encourage them to come forward.”

After Goddard’s apartment was searched by police, he was charged with four counts of breaking the terms of his three-year-long probation: having a device that could connect to the Internet; having a social media presence; and both indirect and direct contact with someone under the age of 18.

This wasn’t the first time Goddard broke terms of a release. In 2010, while in custody and awaiting trial, police were forced to remove him from public hot tubs on numerous occasions. He was eventually charged with 11 breaches of his bail terms.

“A lot of times when you’re dealing with people with a background with sexual offences, there often is a community concern [of repeating],” said MacDonald, who credited a public warning when Goddard was released in February for assisting with the arrest. “These types of warnings may occur maybe twice a year, and it looks like our notifications this year have been for good measure.”

After multiple breaches of his bail conditions, Goddard eventually pleaded guilty in December 2010 to invitation to sexual touching, communicating via a computer to lure a child, impersonating a police officer and two breach charges. Goddard used at least five different aliases, including that of a police officer and teenage girl, to lure teens, all but two of whom were boys. He would then use a variety of tactics to meet up with them, and would continue to try and speak with them even after they had broken off contact.

At the time, his lawyer David Gable said Goddard was an insecure and confused young man who needed help, not prison time.

“This is a young man who . . . is a person who has had difficulty coming to terms with his sexuality,” he said. “He needs to be counselled as opposed to incarcerated.”

He was sentenced in June 2011 to 20 months in prison, but because he had already served eight months in custody, it was shortened to 12 months. He was released after serving two-thirds of the sentence.

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