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Mar. 26, 2004. 05:00PM

Police crack child-porn ring
Toronto officers help FBI to track down, rescue five children who were being sexually abused


Toronto police have helped the FBI to crack a major international child pornography ring and to rescue five children who were being sexually abused.

One girl, who was rescued in Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina, was shown in computer images that were degrading and horrific in nature, police said.

Scenes showed her being defecated and urinated on, menaced with knives and being confined in a dog cage, police told reporters this morning.

Some of the images showed the girl with the slogan "Kill me, I'm a slut" written on her body in a substance that resembled blood, Bruce Smollet of the Sex Crimes Unit of the Toronto Police Services said.

This week, Brian Tod Schellenberger, 41, of Cary, N.C., was arrested. He is a married father of three who worked for a computer company.

The investigation began in December, 2003, with the Toronto police working with Interpol and the FBI after the child exploitation section of the Toronto sex crimes unit received a series of 450 images of a 6-year-old girl being sexually abused.

After studying the images, detectives were able to identify a wristband worn by the victim as being from a North Carolina school. Through further analysis of an image of a T-shirt, they were able to determine the specific school that the victim attended.

Toronto detectives contacted the FBI, who rescued the 6-year-old from the abuse she had endured for years, Smollet said.

As a result of this case, police were led to the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, where the FBI arrested a woman who had been "renting out" her three children to pedophiles who had travelled as far away as England to have sex with them. Those three children were rescued, police said.

Surrey, England, was where police originally got the 450 disturbing images of the 6-year-old girl, Smollet said, adding that police in Britain are investigating.

"We aren't resting as far as trying to identify victims," Smollet said. "What it does is bring to light the global nature of this. The arrest of the woman down in Texas led police back to Surrey, England, which is where we originally got the series of 450 images. So you see it involves a full circle.

"We live on a fairly big planet but it's a very small world when it comes to the predators that would commit these horrific offences on our kids."

Toronto police help FBI save kids from sex abuse

Pornographic images on Net lead to arrests

Elaine Marshall
CanWest News Service

Toronto police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation rescued five children from sexual abuse after identifying one of them, a six-year-old North Carolina girl, from pornographic images obtained from the web.

Staff Insp. Bruce Smollet said members of the Child Exploitation Section of the Sex Crimes Unit received a series of 450 images of the girl from police in the United Kingdom.

After closely examining the images, they were able to identify the school attended by the victim. The FBI were able to identify the girl and arrest her attacker, rescuing her from what Smollet called "ongoing abuse."

"We aren't resting as far as trying to identify victims," he said. "To us, that's the most important part of any child pornography investigation."

In the images, the young girl is threatened with knives and confined in a dog cage.

"They're the most disgusting, disgraceful things that I can imagine," Smollet said.

Toronto police obtained the images in December 2003. Det. Ian Lamond of the Child Exploitation Section said that within a day and a half of receiving the images, police identified a wristband the child was wearing as being from the state of North Carolina.

Examining a T-shirt worn by the the girl, detectives were able to identify the name of the school she attended in Raleigh, N.C.

Doris Gardner, supervising special agent for the FBI's cybercrime squad, said an arrest was made eight hours after Toronto police contacted them.

"They gave us everything that we needed to proceed to identify the child and make an arrest," she said.

The man they arrested for the crime had access to the child, police said, but they would not reveal his relationship to her to protect her identity.

Further investigation of the man arrested uncovered allegations he had also been sexually abusing a three-month-old infant. The FBI also discovered he had been sharing files and chatting with a woman in Dallas, Texas. Police now accuse her of "renting out" her three children to pedophiles who had come from as far away as Britain.

The woman was arrested and her children removed by authorities. Smollet said the investigation by British authorities into the abuse of the three Dallas children is centring in Surrey, the same area where the images of the Raleigh girl were first obtained.

Brian Tod Schellenberger, 41, of Cary, N.C. is charged with the production and possession of child pornography.

 The Calgary Herald 2004


Sun, March 28, 2004

T.O. tip breaks child porn ring



CARY, N.C. -- An international investigation into child pornography resulted in charges against a North Carolina man who authorities said physically and sexually abused a six-year-old girl and an infant boy to create images he posted on the Internet. Brian Tod Schellenberger, 41, is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Raleigh, N.C., on four counts of sexual exploitation of children and one count of possessing child pornography, the News & Observer newspaper reported.

He has been in U.S. federal custody since his arrest Dec. 2 and was indicted by a federal grand jury Jan. 22 in Raleigh. FBI agents and federal prosecutors kept the case quiet until Friday to protect the victims' identities.

They said an investigation initiated by a special police unit in Toronto, Canada, has resulted in five children being taken into protective custody, search warrants being executed in five U.S. states and in Britain and at least five arrests.

This case "is probably the most horrific one I've seen," said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Doris Gardner, who leads the North Carolina Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Kenda Henry of Dallas, Tex., is accused of trying to rent her daughter to people from abroad for sexual encounters. Mark Spies, 44, of Lancaster, S.C., was arrested and charged with several pornographic-related offences.



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