Skip to main content Skip to section navigation

Missing and Exploited Children Training Conference (MECC): Speakers & Presentations

Attendees of MECC 2020 will hear from leading professionals in the field of missing and exploited children and the lessons they’ve learned on the ground in recent high profile cases.

Expert Speakers

Dr. Darrel Turner, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist

Dr. Turner received his PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Forensic Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He has published numerous research articles and book chapters on risk assessment of sex offenders, risk assessment tools, child sex offender and victim behaviours, risk assessment of child pornography offenders, and juror perceptions and decision making in sex offense cases.

Prior to graduate school, Darrel worked in an undercover capacity during sex offense and narcotics investigations with local law enforcement in Louisiana and has also worked within the United States Penitentiary System as a staff psychologist.

Dr. Turner is currently in private practice and works throughout the United States as an expert witness on the topics of victim behaviour in child sex offenses as well as offender characteristics such as grooming of child victims, self-grooming, grooming of the environment, assessment of risk, and detection of offenders.

This session will focus on providing an understanding of the grooming behaviours of adult offenders and the often counter-intuitive behaviours of child victims. Additionally, Dr. Turner will provide insight into the strengths and limitations related to the risk assessment of child pornography offenders.

Dr. Peter Collins, Forensic Psychiatrist

Dr. Peter Collins has been the forensic psychiatrist with the Ontario Provincial Police since 1995. From 1990 to 1995 he was a member of the first profiling unit of the RCMP, and was involved in the development of the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System (ViCLAS).

Dr. Collins has a Masters in Applied Criminology and a Medical Degree. His postgraduate training was in psychiatry and forensic psychiatry at the University of Toronto, where he is an Associate Professor. Peter is a co-investigator with the Health Adaptation Research on Trauma (HART) Lab and the International Performance Resilience and Efficiency Program for police tactical teams at the University of Toronto (Mississauga).

Following two tours in Southern Afghanistan, Peter retired from the Canadian Armed Forces at the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. Peter is an authority on violent crime and has worked with, and instructed, numerous criminal justice agencies in North America, and internationally, including the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Interpol, and Europol.

In 2017, Dr. Collins testified as an expert witness in a Canadian trial dealing with child pornography charges related to a sex doll. The high profile case from Newfoundland involved a 54-year-old male charged with possession of child pornography after ordering a doll from a Chinese website advertising childlike and adult sex dolls. The man was charged in 2013 when the doll was intercepted by the Canada Border Services Agency. This session will provide valuable insight into why sex dolls are a form of indicative material and why they meet the criteria for child pornography.

Panel Discussions

Online child sexual abuse material is a global social epidemic: How did we get here?

In 2019, the New York Times published a four-part series on their month-long investigation into the issue of child sexual abuse material online. The world was shocked and moved by their accounts — 10 years ago, the US-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children received 600,000 reports from tech companies of child sexual abuse material in a year. In 2018, that number exploded to 45 million photos and videos. The series addresses the state of under-funded law enforcement agencies, and the victims who have to live in fear of being recognized, knowing the worst moments of their lives are being enjoyed by offenders online.

But how did we get here? How did the internet become the one place where we have not protected our children?

This panel, moderated by C3P Executive Director Lianna McDonald, will explore some of the factors that have shaped the way the world has failed to respond to this issue with three international experts from very different disciplines. Dr. Michael Salter, Dr. Hany Farid and David Shanks will help explain the decisions that have led to an internet over-run with child sexual abuse material, how the world is starting to take notice, and what needs to be done to tackle this global epidemic.

Dr. Michael Salter, Associate Professor of Criminology and Scientia Fellow at the School of Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Australia

Dr. Salter is one of the leading experts in the world on organized child sexual abuse. He studies child sexual exploitation, gendered violence and complex trauma and has interviewed hundreds of victims of child sexual abuse. He is currently leading two national studies: one on multi-sectorial constructions on complex trauma, and the second on the role of parents in the production of child exploitation material. Other current research projects include an analysis of perpetrator interventions in gendered violence and the role of technology in domestic violence. Michael sits on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and he is Associate Editor of Child Abuse Review.

Dr. Hany Farid, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley

Hany Farid is widely known for his work at Microsoft on PhotoDNA, the tool that is used to help stop the spread of child sexual abuse material online. His research focuses on digital forensics, image analysis, and human perception. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1989, his M.S. in Computer Science from SUNY Albany, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Following a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth College in 1999 where he remained until 2019. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

David Shanks, Chief Censor, New Zealand Classification Office

David Shanks was appointed as New Zealand’s Chief Censor in May 2017. As Chief Censor he leads the Classification Office, which is a government agency that is legally required to make independent decisions. The Chief Censor is a media regulator, with responsibility for classifying both commercial content (such as films), and potentially illegal content (such as child sexual abuse material or terrorist promotional publications). The role requires a careful balance to be struck between the need to protect New Zealanders from harm, particularly children and young people, with the equally important need to uphold every citizen’s right to freedom of expression.

David is a barrister and solicitor who has had a career spanning both private and public sector senior roles. He has been the Chief Legal Officer for the largest government department in New Zealand, led major public inquiries, and served as Director for a technology sector private sector company. As a parent, David has a passion for the job and a determination to transform the thinking around freedom and responsibility in the changing world of media content.

Case Studies

Tumblr Report Leads to Arrest of Group Home Worker for Abusing Youth

As a part of his new member training with the ALERT ICE Team, Detective Dwayne Welfl was handed a file with the type of report ICE units receive every day across the country. But when he identified the offender in the video that had been uploaded to Tumblr as a group home worker, the priority of the file elevated immediately.

This case involved collaboration with multiple partners, including Zebra Centre, the Edmonton Police Sexual Assault Section, Child and Family Services, Media Relations, and the Crown’s Office. This case study will provide an overview of the investigation, the identification of a co-accused who was simultaneously part of a separate ALERT investigation, and a unique insight into the behaviors and mindset of a serial child sexual predator who had been abusing children for more than a decade.

Detective Dwayne Welfl, Edmonton Police Service

Detective Dwayne Welfl is a 21-year member of the Edmonton Police Service currently assigned to the Northern Alberta Internet Child Exploitation unit. Det. Welfl started his career with the Calgary Police Service in 1998 before joining Edmonton in 2002. He has previously worked in Professional Standards, Project KARE and as a patrol supervisor.

Parminder Johal, Crown Prosecutor

Parminder Johal’s passion for children’s rights and child protection led her to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work and subsequently toward a career in law. As a law student, Parm focused her studies primarily on international children’s rights and criminal justice. Parm’s interest in criminal justice led to a full-time career in criminal law. She worked as staff counsel for the Legal Aid Society of Alberta for over 10 years, where she represented youth clients. She commenced her career as a prosecutor with Alberta Crown Prosecution Service working primarily in the Family Protection Unit until her move to Specialized Prosecutions. She is currently assigned to the Internet and Tech Crimes Unit of Specialized Prosecutions and prosecutes files involving the sexual exploitation of children over the internet.

Constable Natalie Tung, RCMP

Cst. Natalie Tung has been with the RCMP for seven years. She is currently assigned to the Northern Alberta Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) and has been there for 2½ years. Prior being in the ICE unit, she served 4½ years as a general duty member in Barrhead, a rural farming community just North West of Edmonton, Alberta.

A Strategic Approach to Dealing with At-Risk Habitual Runaways

Across the country, officers working on current missing persons cases see instances of a youth reported missing again and again. How do we handle those reports?

This case study will focus on the OPP’s response to a youth in the care of child welfare who, in a one-year period, was reported missing nearly 65 times to two different police services. Her social worker reported concerns to police about someone she had met and was communicating with online. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the 16-year-old had been a victim of human trafficking and was being exploited again, and that there was a plan to traffic her to the United States.

Fearing for her immediate safety, the OPP worked in conjunction with several police services and community supports, enacted the Urgent Request form for online user information under the new Ontario Missing Persons Act, and were able to remove the youth from a dangerous situation. Attendees will gain insight into Ontario’s new Missing Persons Act and how officers leveraged cross-jurisdictional partnerships to intervene in a high-risk human trafficking case.

Constable Scott Chalkley, Ontario Provincial Police

Cst. Scott Chalkley has served with the Ontario Provincial Police for more than nine years in both southern and northwestern Ontario. He is currently posted in the Kenora Detachment. In 2016, during his time in the Street Crime Unit, he became an integral part of a pilot project that focused on the intersection of mental health, missing occurrences and exploitation investigations in the youth population. This pilot project has now become the Kenora Youth Crisis Unit, and Cst. Chalkley remains a critical member of the team.

More to come.

Support our work. Donate today.

Be a part of something big. As a registered charitable organization, we rely on donations to help us offer our programs and services to the public. You can support us in helping families and protecting children.

Donate Now