Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Oregon man sentenced to 20 years for sexually exploiting B.C. teens

The three youth, ranging in age from 13 to 15 at the time, were in West Shore, Comox Valley and Surrey

A 37-year old Oregon man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for using social media to stalk and sexually exploit three B.C. teenage girls, coercing them to send explicit images and then using those images to threaten them.

The three youths, ages 14 and 15 at the time, were in West Shore, Comox Valley and Surrey.

Kevin Robert McCarty, 37, of Happy Valley, Oregon, was sentenced on Oct. 13 after pleading guilty to one count of enticing a minor online and two counts of sexually exploiting children.

Complaints from other youths on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in B.C. were reported, but there were no charges from those cases.

From July 2020 to November 2021, McCarty, who went by the alias “Robbie MacKenzie” online and lived with his mother, used various social media platforms, including Snapchat and Instagram, to coerce the three Canadian teens into taking and sending him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves.

A U.S. District Court criminal complaint dated Nov. 16, 2021 says McCarty befriended the girls, lied about his age, then used threats to get them to take sexually explicit images and perform sexual acts.

Once the youths sent photos or videos, he demanded more. If the teens refused, he threatened to send the photos and videos he had received to their friends and families, “which he did on several occasions,” according to the United States Attorney’s Office in Orgeon.

In one case, a complainant reported that her abuser shut her out of her own social-media account and began publicly posting lewd and racist comments and sending sexual messages to friends. He threatened the life of one girl’s sister.

The girls reported feeling depressed and scared — one said she cried each time she saw a new message. They said they felt “trapped” and that “they couldn’t get away.”

“On at least two occasions, McCarty told his victims they could either comply with his demands or commit suicide,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The investigation began when Comox Valley RCMP were tipped off in May 2021 that a local youth was being sexually exploited online. That investigation led to a suspect in the U.S.

Insp. Mike Kurvers, officer in charge of the Comox Valley RCMP detachment, could not be immediately reached by phone Thursday, but in a statement, he lauded the work of the department’s “invaluable criminal analyst” whose expertise played a pivotal role in the investigation.

The Comox Valley Major Crime Unit has five investigators supported by a criminal analyst specializing in high-profile criminal cases, including sexual assaults and child pornography.

“Her meticulous work significantly contributed to the successful outcome,” said Kurvers.

McCarty used an alias but may not have been as sophisticated as other cyber criminals in hiding his identity on social-media sites.

In September, West Shore RCMP received a complaint from a 15-year-old girl. After investigating, the department determined that Comox Valley RCMP had a similar investigation involving the same suspect, and had already contacted Homeland Security in the U.S.

West Shore RCMP Cpl. Chris Dovell, who is in charge of community policing, said the teen had approached the counsellor with the department’s youth outreach team — made up of a police officer and youth counsellor from Pacific Centre Family Services Association — to report that she was being victimized online.

“It came as a result of the work within the schools,” said Dovell, adding the integrated team tries to connect with youth in the community so they reach out when something like this happens.

“We build that trust, we work in schools, we work with youth in the community, and we can provide that safety to come to us to make that report. The messaging is ‘we believe you and we are here to help.’ ”

As new reports came in from Surrey and other municipalities, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations took over the case, with assistance from the Mounties.

Dovell said cyber crime is time-consuming, complicated and challenging to investigate and relies on working with foreign technology companies.

On Nov. 16, 2021, McCarty was charged with sexually exploiting children, distributing child pornography, cyberstalking, enticing a child online, and transferring obscene material to a minor.

Two days later, Homeland Security Investigations agents served a search warrant at the Happy Valley residence McCarty shared with his mother, sister, and sister’s family.

McCarty, who was visiting a cousin in Riverside, California, was arrested the same day.

Sgt. Dave Knight of the Surrey RCMP Internet Child Exploitation Unit noted the importance of strong working relationships with international partner agencies to reach the “common goal of keeping our children safe from online exploitation.

In 2020, Surrey RCMP implemented the first RCMP detachment level dedicated Internet Child Exploitation Unit. The unit now consists of seven full-time investigators.

Police acknowledge the case is a harrowing reminder of the tragic case of B.C. teen Amanda Todd, who was blackmailed into exposing herself in front of a webcam. The 15-year-old killed herself in 2012, after previously detailing her ordeal in a YouTube video watched by millions around the world.

Aydin Coban, a Dutch man, was convicted last year of extortion, harassment and other crimes related to Todd. Coban, who is already serving a sentence in the Netherlands, was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court to 13 years for extortion, harassment and other crimes. He will serve his time in the Netherlands, although it could be much shorter in accordance with Dutch law.

As for the West Shore teen, Dovell said she’s now 17 and no longer lives in the community but is in contact with the youth outreach team and has been updated on the sentence, which is considered significant. “She’s doing well.”

Dovell called the way the teen reached out to the department’s outreach team a “textbook case of how it’s supposed to happen.”

“When something has happened, you’ve been exploited, you can go to someone that you trust, and that if you are ready to talk to the police, that we are there for you and will do everything in our power to investigate it and bring people to justice.”

A large number of files investigated through school liaisons and youth community groups involve some type of online activities and exploitation, said Dovell. “It’s a huge problem, and we want to highlight that problem.”

[email protected]