Computer Crime Research Center


T.O. police arrest man on child porn charges

Date: January 26, 2005
By: Jim Junkin

Toronto police have arrested a man they allege fled Israel to escape child pornography charges, only to continue his crimes in Canada.

Police say that when 46-year-old Vitaly Levshin came to Canada in 2000, he was granted Landed Immigrant status.

Some four years later, Interpol and Israeli police contacted their Toronto counterparts to say they had tracked Levshin to the Ontario capital.

The Israeli embassy in Ottawa told CTV News that charges were never laid in Israel, because Levshin fled to Canada in the preliminary stages of the investigation. Police there were looking into information related to sexual assaults on children, as well as the online distribution of child pornography.

When Levshin was arrested in November at his north Toronto home, police say they discovered some 3,000 pictures in his possession involving about 25 unidentified boys in various stages of undress or involved in sex acts with other boys and men.

Police also said computer records contain evidence Levshin was exchanging pornography with people around the world.

Levshin was charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, and making and possessing child pornography.

Authorities say the charges relate to a 10-year-old child in Toronto and five assaults in Toronto and Ukraine over the past two years.

Police believe that some of the youths in pictures appear to have been brought to Canada solely for the purpose of having sex with men.

According to Toronto Police Det. Sgt. Paul Gillespie, a boy known as Pasha, for example, is seen in a series of photos that date back to the time he was seven-years-old until he was 16.

"We watched this boy grow up," Gillespie told reporters at a briefing Tuesday morning. "Some of these pictures were, in fact, taken in Toronto as we can tell by standard Toronto landmarks such as the CN Tower."

Police say, during the time he's lived in the Toronto area, Levshin advertised in local Russian-language papers for young boys to assist with his professional piano performances.

Anyone with information concerning the accused is asked to contact the Toronto Police Service's Child Exploitation Section at 416-808-7985.

Levshin is scheduled to face charges of sexual assault and sexual interference as well as making and possessing child pornography when he appears in a Toronto court on Thursday.

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