Sunday 25 June 2017

Gardaí 'relentlessly pursued' Canadian predator who flew to Ireland to have sex with teen (14) he groomed online

Jashua Robert Tremblay originally said he was only 16 when he started talking to the young Irish girl
Jashua Robert Tremblay originally said he was only 16 when he started talking to the young Irish girl
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A Canadian prosecutor who led a successful case against a predator who groomed an Irish teen online before travelling to Ireland twice has praised gardaí for their work on the case.

Jashua Tremblay is now behind bars at the beginning of a four and a half year sentence for his acts. He was convicted after he travelled to Ireland twice to meet a young teenage girl he had met on the internet.

The now 34-year-old engaged in sex with the victim during both visits, which took place during the school holidays in July and October 2013 when the girl was aged 14.

His case was the first child sex tourism case tried by Crown Prosecutor Craig Krieger.

Jashua Tremblay
Jashua Tremblay

Mr Krieger said the new laws allowing Canadian authorities to prosecute criminals who engage in child sex tourism in other countries allowed for the successful conclusion of the case. 

"Normally only Ireland would be able to prosecute him," Krieger said outside court, CBC Canada reports.

"But because of this special provision, we were able to prosecute him here for the sexual contact with a child.

"Under the old system, that only could have been prosecuted in Ireland," he said.

"So they would have had to wait for him to appear there somehow someday which probably would have been a slim hope."

The lawyer also praised the work of gardai who were the first law enforcement agency to deal with the case.

"I really want to give credit to the police in Ireland. Even though they probably knew from the beginning, there was a slim chance of them seeing the accused face to face,” he said.

“But they put a tremendous amount of effort to prove the identity of who this adult was who had come to violate one of their kids."

A senior source told Independent.ie the arrest and imprisonment of Tremblay was a result of a"relentless pursuit" by gardaí. 

It is understood the investigation was launched when people living in the area noticed inappropriate behaviour between the two.

Without the intervention by neighbours "the case may never have come to light let alone end up in a prosecution" the source added.

"This case highlights the level of engagement between gardai and other countries in these cases and shows that international borders don't hinder an investigation like this."

During the investigation it emerged that he convinced the young girl they were in a legitimate relationship and told her he wanted “100 kids”.

When in Ireland the pair stayed in hotels, a campsite and a holiday home.

Neighbours living near the holiday home in an Irish seaside down alerted gardai when they became suspicious about the level of affection between the two.

It is understood Tremblay told gardai initially he was the girl’s father.

Edmonton Law Courts in Alberta heard details of how Tremblay preyed on the vulnerable teen who had recently lost her mother.

He sent her naked images and encouraged her to reciprocate.

The girl told her father she was staying with a friend during Tremblay’s visits.

When her dad read an excerpt from a letter he had sent the victim and became concerned Tremblay lied about his age and promised to cease contact.

He continued the relationship however and returned to Ireland for a second time.

In a victim impact statement the girl’s father revealed the stress induced by the incident for the family and said his daughter had been brainwashed by Tremblay.

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