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US man travelled to BC to abuse child

A 32-year-old Utah man has pleaded guilty to sex crimes after travelling to B.C. to abuse a pre-teen girl he met on the Internet.

Salt Lake City resident Kevin Douglas Knowlton started communicating with the 12-year-old victim in June and flew into the province in early December, according to court documents.

He was in contact with her until Feb. 17, when Mounties arrested him at a Surrey hotel.

“A family member of the victim made a call to police,” Sgt. Dale Carr said. “We immediately went to that hotel, identified who he was and placed him under arrest for the sexual assault of that young lady.”

Knowlton pleaded guilty Wednesday in Surrey provincial court to counts of luring a child under 16 years old, sexual interference of a child under 16 years old, and making child pornography.

He will remain in custody until his sentencing on May 30 and serve his time in Canada before possibly facing additional charges back in the U.S.

Anita Roberts, founder of Safe Teen International, urged parents to have discussions in graphic terms about Internet luring with their children so they know what it looks like.

“We will educate our kids about how to cross roads safely, we need to educate our kids about all safety issues,” Roberts said.

“Yes, there are pedophiles out there. Yes, kids are getting lured. They’re getting groomed and seduced online. They’re getting blackmailed online. They are extremely vulnerable.”

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