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Four Males Charged with Sexual Offences Involving Youth

Four Medicine Hat men have been charged in connection to an investigation of sexual offences involving youth.

In late February 2021, the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) Major Crimes Section received information that a youth was involved in providing adult men with sex in exchange for profit. The subsequent investigation revealed that three youth, ranging in age from 12 to 15 years old, had been communicating with adult men to provide sex in exchange for money, drugs, alcohol and/or tobacco.

The legal age of consent in Canada is 16, and therefore some of the victims could not legally consent at the time of the offences.

Resulting from this investigation:

Cory James Dominaux, 36-years-old, of Medicine Hat, AB is charged with:

  • Two counts of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18 years
  • Two counts of sexual assault on a person under 16 years
  • Two counts of sexual contact with a child under 16 years
  • Two counts of luring a child under 16 years
  • One count of trafficking a controlled substance

Next court appearance: April 27, 2021

Micheal Beauchesne, 19-years-old, of Medicine Hat, AB is charged with:

  • Two counts of obtaining sexual services from a person under 18 years
  • Two counts of sexual assault on a person under 16 years
  • Two counts of sexual contact with a child under 16 years
  • Two counts of luring a child under 16 years
  • One count of trafficking a controlled substance

Next court appearance: April 16, 2021.

Cody Spencer Riddell, 21-years-old, of Medicine Hat AB is charged with:

  • Obtaining sexual services from a person under 18 years
  • Sexual assault on a person under 16 years
  • Sexual contact with a child under 16 years
  • Luring a child under 16 years
  • Trafficking a controlled substance

Next court appearance: April 14, 2021.

Simarjeet Singh Bhathal, 25-years-old of Medicine Hat, AB is charged with:

  • Two counts of Obtaining sexual services from a person under 18 years
  • Three counts of Sexual assault on a person under 16 years
  • Three counts of Sexual contact with a child under 16 years
  • Three counts of Luring a child under 16 years

Next court appearance: April 14, 2021.

The youth involved in this file are being offered supports and counselling.

The investigation is ongoing and investigators believe there may be people who may have more information related to this case, and encourage them to come forward. Anyone with information relating to these crimes is asked to contact the MHPS at 403-502-8914.

Media Contact:
S/Sgt Darcy Brandt
Major Crimes Section
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8421

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Single Vehicle MVC

On April 6, 2021 at approximately 7:20 AM a sedan was travelling west on 1 Street SW, approaching the intersection with Harris Street SW, when it veered to the right and left the road. The vehicle then struck a power pole, sheering it in half. The male driver and lone occupant of the vehicle was uninjured by the collision. Total damage to the vehicle and power pole is in estimated to be in excess of $20,000.

The investigation into the collision has revealed that the driver was impaired by drug at the time of the collision, and he was released under the IRS Alberta Provincial Sanctions Program.

The Medicine Hat Police Service Traffic Unit continues to investigate the collision and thanks the witnesses that provided information to assist.

Media Contact:

A/Sgt Darren Holeha
Traffic Unit
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8481

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Robbery with a Weapon

In the early morning hours of April 3, 2021, the Medicine Hat Police Service received a report of a Robbery at a business located in the 300 block of 12 Street NE. The unknown male approached the counter and after a brief conversation with the clerk, produced a weapon, and made demands. The male left the business with an undisclosed amount of product.

The unknown male subject of this event is still at large. Members of the Patrol Section and Major Crime Section are continuing this investigation. A surveillance video image was obtained and is being shared with the public. Police are asking anyone with further information about this event or if you know the identity of the male in the photo to please contact police at (403)529-8481 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).

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Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety

The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) has identified a concerning trend involving an increased number of reports of online bullying and the sharing of intimate images and videos, among youth in particular.

 

The digital world is a continuously evolving environment that operates 24 hours, 7-days-a-week, 365 days a year. The Internet can be both a wonderful resource for connecting and learning but also comes with risks, like inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and online predators.

Because the technology and platforms are rapidly evolving it’s not uncommon for kids to know more than their parents or teachers and as a result it’s difficult for parents and caregivers to keep up and know how to ensure their loved ones are safe and using this technology appropriately.

Another inherent challenge is that once something has been shared online, it is almost impossible to take it back. Because of this, the MHPS would like to encourage everyone, but specifically our youth to remember that when you hit send to a message, an image, or a video that is can become public, permanent, searchable, and potentially exploitable.

The online world is no stranger to the criminal element and social media applications are no different. People need to be aware that online bullying and sharing of intimate images can lead to criminal and other types of charges such as bullying, harassment, extortion, distribution of child pornography, and a variety of other offences

The MHPS Community Support Unit encourages youth to protect themselves and for parents/guardians to watch over their children’s social media use and help guide them to safety.

Remember when online and when using social media applications to; set the privacy settings high, use a secure password and don’t share it, only interact with people who you know, think about everything you post before you post it, and if you don’t want it out in the world, don’t post it.

As the world, but specifically our community, learns to grow through this digital environment, there are resources out there to help our youth and parents/guardians. Please take some time to explore the below links.

Please take care of each other and help each other as there are enough normal life stressors without creating extra in our digital future.

https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/behavior-and-development/social_media

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/social-media-smarts.html

https://www.protectchildren.ca/en/

Media Contact:

Sgt. Adam Gregory
Medicine Hat Police Service
Community Support Unit
403-529-8451

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Public Asst to Locate Gerald Mohr

On March 18, 2021, the Medicine Hat Police Service attended to a domestic assault in the area of the 600 block of Industrial Ave SE. Prior to police arriving on scene the suspect, who can now be identified as Gerald Mohr, fled in a stolen 2004 Dodge Ram. Since that time the pickup has been recovered, however police are still requesting public assistance to locate Mohr, who is arrestable for the following offences in relation to this incident;

  • Common Assault
  • Breach of Probation x 2
  • Theft Over $5000.00

Mohr is described as 46-years-old, 5’10 tall, approximately 180 lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information to assist with locating Mohr is asked to contact the MHPS at 403-529-8481.

If located, do not approach the suspect or attempt to apprehend.

Media Contact:

S/Sgt Jason Graham
Patrol Section
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8461

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Male in Distress

On March 23, 2021 at approximately 7:00 AM members of the Medicine Hat Police Service attended to a residence in the 1600 block of 2 Avenue NE following a report of a male in distress. The area was secured for a short time as a precaution while officers negotiated with the male. After approximately 90 minutes the male exited the residence, was apprehended under the Mental Health Act, and transported to hospital for assessment and treatment.

There were no injuries to any persons or use of force options utilized during this response.

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are several local agencies available to provide mental supports including:

Alberta Mental Health Help Line - 1-877-303-2642

The Mental Health Help Line offers 24 hour, 7 day a week confidential service that provides support, information and referrals to Albertans experiencing mental health concern. The line is staffed by a multidisciplinary team comprised of nurses, psychiatric nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, and psychologists.

Canadian Mental Health Association - 403-504-1811

Media Contact:

S/Sgt Jason Graham
Patrol Section
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8461

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Public Advisory - Police Operation

Police Operation: 1600 Block 2 Ave NE

MHPS members are currently conducting a police operation in the 1600 Block of 2 Ave NE.  This is a dynamic situation, so we are asking all traffic to avoid the area and asking residents in the area to stay indoors.  Details to follow when they become available.

Your cooperation is appreciated.

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FPM Wk 4 - Financial Crimes

Financial crimes is a growing concern for victims and law enforcement. Financial crimes deal primarily with money for goods and can range from; counterfeit property, credit card fraud (including Interact, e-transfers and wire transfers), investment scams, Ponzi /pyramid schemes and emergency scams.

Counterfeit Fraud – relates to counterfeit property and merchandise sold either in person or on line. When shopping online pay close attention to the website. Check for spelling or grammatical errors and before you purchase anything look at the contact information. A company will usually use its own name in the email address as a contact such as blank@nestle.ca as opposed to an email ending in gmail, Hotmail or yahoo.

Credit Card Fraud –includes all sorts of card frauds including; credit cards, debit cards and gift cards. Canada has seen a huge spike in skimming frauds where culprits are able to lift the data contained on the magnetic stripe on credit cards through compromised pin pads. Once the credit card number is known they are able to purchase items online without even having the card in their possession. They can then use that card to purchase items or load money onto a prepaid credit card which cannot be traced. Often culprits will also ask someone to forward money via a wire transfer service from prepaid credit cards, which once complete, cannot be traced. If using a pin pad at a store and the chip does not work or you are unable to insert your card into the chip reader it is best to err on the side of caution and assume that pin pad is compromised.

Investment Scams –Typical investment scams will involve real estate development or RRSP money investment opportunity in which the fraudster will ask for a large sum of money in return for the promise of an immediate and high cash return. However it is likely that once you hand over your money they will close their fake company down and you will be left with nothing but an empty account. A good rule of thumb is to always get the investment offer in writing and to personally inspect the possible investment to ensure it is real before investing your hard earned money.

Gifting Scam (Pyramid scams) – these scams are similar to investment scams as they rely strictly on investors to keep growing. They base their company on recruiting family members to invest/gift money. Recruiting newcomers to the company is highly important. New members will be ensured that there is nothing illegal about the gifting program as it is simply a gift. This program IS illegal and not sustainable as eventually thousands of people will be defrauded of the money that they “gifted”.

Emergency Scams – There has been an increase in the frequency of the “Grandparent scam” reported, where a culprit will contact an elderly person posing as their grandchild. The individual will sound scared and quiet and call the person on the other line “Grandma” or “Grandpa”, and when the person on the other line calls them by the name of their grandchild they will make up a story that they have been arrested for some sort of crime and are being held in jail and need money. They will often request for the money to be wired to a certain place, often out of province and say that the money is going to a lawyer and they cannot tell their parents. Remember to always check with your family members and know if they are gone somewhere or not before transferring money. During tax season the CRA scam is also extremely prevalent and will try to put pressure on the targeted person that if they don’t pay an owed amount of money or fine, that they will be arrested and charged. The CRA does not operate this way so don’t fall victim.

In general a good rule to remember when it comes to money is to always be skeptical. Always ask questions before transferring or investing. A professional will have no problem answering your questions and showing credentials and references to prove they are who they are.

For more information on common frauds or scams and for information on how to protect yourself visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.

Media Contact:

Sgt. Adam Gregory
Medicine Hat Police Service
Community Support Unit
403-529-8451

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Theft of Motor Vehicle/ Domestic Assault

On March 18, 2021 members of the Medicine Hat Police Service attended to the 600 block of Industrial Ave SE to investigate a report of a domestic assault. Upon officer’s arrival at the scene, it was learned that the suspect had fled. A search of the area was conducted and involved deploying both a K9 team as well as the MHPS unmanned aerial vehicle, but was unsuccessful in locating the suspect.

Police are asking for public assistance to locate both the suspect and a vehicle which was reportedly stolen from the scene. The truck is described as a 2004 Dodge Ram with Alberta licence plate CGJ 1085 (see attached photo). The suspect’s name can not be released at this time as charges have not been formally processed, however can confirm he is a 46-year-old Medicine Hat male and described as 5’10 tall, 180lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information to assist with locating the vehicle or suspect are asked to contact the MHPS at 403-529-8481. Do not approach the suspect or attempt to apprehend.

The services of the MHPS Victim Services Unit have been offered to the victim involved in this matter.

Media Contact:

A S/Sgt Jeff Klick
Patrol Section
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8461

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Pedestrian and Cycling Safety

Spring is in the air and with the warmer weather a noted increase in pedestrian and cycling traffic on our paths and roadways. In an effort to keep everyone safe the Medicine Hat Police Service would like to remind everyone of some safety tips:

Tips for drivers:

  • As you approach crosswalks or prepare to turn, watch for pedestrians and give them the right-of-way. Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk carries a fine of $810 and four demerit points.
  • Slow down on residential streets and in areas with high pedestrian traffic.
  • Watch for vehicles in the next lane who may be stopped or slowing down, for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
  • A cyclist operating a cycle on a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties of a person driving a motor vehicle.
  • Watch for cyclists making last minute turns or who do not dismount at street and pedestrian crossings.

Tips for pedestrians and cyclists:

  • Pedestrians who have the right-of-way when crossing a street, be cautious and watch for drivers who may not see you.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks, especially signaled ones whenever possible. Avoid jaywalking.
  • At night or in low-light conditions, take extra caution to make sure drivers see you.
  • A pedestrian who is crossing the street other than at a crosswalk shall yield the right of way to vehicles on the roadway.
  • Cyclists must dismount at pedestrian crossings to be treated as a pedestrian.
  • Cyclists must ride in the far right side of the roadway as to not impede traffic.
  • Cyclists should wear road safe clothing with fluorescent striping to catch driver’s attention.
  • Cycles must be equipped with lights and reflectors and everyone should wear safety helmets.
  • When operating on the trail system, cyclists should slow and yield to pedestrians where applicable.
  • E-bikes must only be operated by persons 12 yrs old and over.
  • The maximum motor size is 500 watts and reach a top speed of 32km/hr.
  • Operators must wear a helmet and not have a passenger unless another seat is provided.
  • All other cycling rules apply to e-bikes.

For more information contact:

Sgt. Gerald Sadlemyer
Traffic Unit
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8471

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