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September 28, 2012

Convicted child lurer Jeffrey Goddard has nearly 300 Facebook ‘friends’ despite social-media ban

Convicted online sexual predator Jeffrey Goddard had pretended to be a teenage girl and a police officer to lure minors for sexual purposes.

Now Abbotsford Police say he’s at it again — this time pretending to be the supervisor of a fictitious landscaping company, which he uses as a means of contacting young teens with offers of a summer job.

Police know of at least two boys who were lured to face-to-face meetings with Goddard.

“We say criminals are creatures of habit,” said Const. Ian MacDonald. “I don’t know if it can be any better illustrated by Goddard continuing to use the same MO as a means to engage and connect with young people.”

Police said Goddard, 22, is using the name “Ryan Martin Stewart” on Facebook.

“He is using this completely fictitious persona ... suggesting a connection to the landscaping business through [which] he can make offers of employment,” said MacDonald.

According to the online profile, which has garnered 295 Facebook friends, Ryan Stewart is from Calgary and lives in Abbotsford. He studied at Langley Secondary and BCIT and, since July, has been head supervisor of Stewart Landscaping, a family-owned business.

“I am a really loveing [sic] person and i am caring if u wanna know anymore about me please dont be affraid [sic] to ask me,” says a brief description. Stewart’s profile photo is of two dogs, noses almost touching.

It was an alert adult, who MacDonald said was diligent in checking out where their teen might be working, who recognized Goddard and reported his online activities to police.

Goddard’s tactic is similar to his previous practices of using Facebook to connect with his victims, aged between 12 and 16 years old, all but two of whom were boys.

He was convicted last year of luring minors using a computer, invitation to sexual touching, and impersonating a police officer, and was sentenced to 20 months in jail. When he was released in February, police issued a public notification about Goddard’s return to the community.

Goddard was arrested Thursday and a search warrant executed in his home.

He was charged with four counts of breaking his probation conditions, which include not having a device that could connect to the Internet, not be on social media, and not have contact with someone under 18. He remains in police custody until a hearing Thursday.

Police believe Goddard may have used his fake persona in other social media sites or in face-to-face or telephone interactions. They are asking anyone who had any interaction with “Ryan Martin Stewart” of “Stewart Landscaping” to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225.

chchan@theprovince.com

twitter.com/cherylchan




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