Sault man found with hundreds of child pornography videos and images pleads guilty

A 32-year-old man has been arrested as part of Project Maverick, a province-wide crackdown on child exploitation in 2022 that has resulted in the arrest of 107 suspects across 27 police departments.

In Sault Ste. The Marie man arrested as part of a province-wide child exploitation investigation in 2022 will appear in a local courtroom on Aug. 14 for sentencing.

Gregory Pearce, 32, pleaded guilty last week to possession of child pornography.

Ontario Court Justice Melanie Dunn heard police seized a laptop and an iPhone when they showed up at the accused’s eastern residence with a search warrant in September 2022.

Officers found 352 images and 579 videos of child pornography, showing explicit sexual activity, on the devices, said assistant Crown attorney Gary Knox.

The offense occurred between February 15, 2021 and August 31, 2022.

Pearce was among 107 people across the province charged as part of Project Maverick, which involved 27 police services.

The court heard the National Child Exploitation Crime Center contacted police in the city in July 2022 about a person it identified as downloading explicit material.

When officers reviewed the information, they discovered a significant amount of pornography involving prepubescent males, Knox said.

Sentencing was adjourned to the August date so that a pre-sentence report could be prepared for the court.