The messages between (Creep Catcher) Carl Young and his victim, Jaden Rajah, “were not sexual in nature or content,” – said Red Deer provincial court Judge Darrell Riemer.
By Blackfalds LIFE staff
Red Deer Creep Catcher Carl Murphy – whose real name is Carl Young – targeted a Lacombe man after having online chats with him even though there was no sexual content in the messages exchanged between the two, according to Red Deer provincial court Judge Darrell Riemer.
On Dec. 4, 2017, in Red Deer provincial court, Judge Riemer found Young, 38, guilty of criminal harassment in connection with an incident on Nov. 23, 2016, at 1 a.m. in Lacombe.
The messages between Carl Young and his victim, Jaden Rajah, “were not sexual in nature or content,” said Judge Riemer, adding that Young had just “decided” that Rajah was a pedophile.
“The accused (Carl Young), prior to Nov. 23 had decided that the complainant was apparently a pedophile and his, being the accused’s, purpose in attending the meeting of Nov. 23 was to video record the encounter to frighten the complainant and to publicize the meeting by posting the video, which he did.”
In doing so, Judge Riemer said, “the accused knew he was harassing the complainant or was reckless or willfully blind to that fact.”
Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
Judge Riemer said Young’s guilt was proven by the Crown “beyond a reasonable doubt”
Judge Riemer said it’s clear that Rajah experienced fear for his safety.
“The complainant’s fear was in all of the circumstances reasonable. The fact that subsequent to the communications complained of the complainant was not attacked or berated and was at a later date willing to speak to the accused does not refute or raise a reasonable doubt that at the time and in the circumstances that the communications complained of occurred, that those communications constituted criminal harassment.”
During Carl Young’s Aug. 25, 2017, one-day trial, the court heard that Young represented himself on a social media dating app for gay and bisexual men as an 18-year-old man named Tanner. The accused later switched his age to 15 and this is when the victim blocked him and told the accused that he shouldn’t be on the site if he was underage because the site wasn’t for minors.
Young, who represented himself to Rajah as a black youth who no one knew was gay besides his mother, who he said wasn’t accepting of him, just created a new profile. Rajah would see the new profile and would click on his name and tell him he shouldn’t be on the site.
Rajah identified with Young who was claiming to be a gay black youth, and he wanted to help so, when he saw Young on the adult site, he would tell him he shouldn’t be there and told him where he could find a support group.
Judge Riemer, when handing down the guilty verdict on Dec. 4, said the six-minute video that Young made after ambushing the victim at 1 a.m. Nov. 23, 2016, in the parking lot of a seniors care home in Lacombe, “displays fear in the demeanor of the complainant, as does the content of the e-mail to the accused by the complainant following the video recording in which e-mail the complainant asked or pleaded with the accused not to post the video.”
The six-minute video of Young ambushing Rajah, which was played in court during the trial in August, shows Rajah visibly shaken and emotional and telling Young that he’s not a pedophile and not a creep. Days later Rajah pleaded with Young not to post the video saying he feared he would get beaten up by Young’s followers or others.
Creep Catcher video on social media destroys Rajah’s life
Young posting the video impacted Rajah’s life in a negative way making him paranoid, fearful and scared for his life. He couldn’t focus on his studies and failed a university exam. Because of a social media backlash against him, he had to quit leading two LGBQT groups and move back home with his parents before eventually relocating to B.C. In addition, he lost a job opportunity after his employer found out about the video posted online by Young.
Although Jaden Rajah wasn’t in court for the guilty verdict against Young on Dec. 4, his father attended and read two victim impact statements written by Rajah; one in February 2017 and the second in September 2017.
“On the night of Nov. 23, 2016, you, Carl Young, changed my life for the worst. You’ve made me feel ashamed about my life. I had thoughts of killing myself. I was scared to walk to school.”
Jaden Rajah’s victim impact statement continued to describe how he was harassed after the video was posted online.
“Someone called me a monkey. Someone else called me a dirty Muslim. And another called me a faggot and perv. I have felt broken and unworthy to live. So many times the video made me feel that taking my life was the only option I had.
“The video also let 22,000 people know about another traumatic experience that happened to me when I was 10 years old. Lastly, he has ruined my career.
“This video online has devastated me. Carl has tarnished my character and has made my ability to find work so very difficult. With my disability, I’m already limited as to what I can do, and now this video is destroying my chance to find work.”
Judge reserves sentencing Young until Jan. 22, 2018
Judge Riemer reserved sentencing Young until Jan. 22, 2018, in Red Deer provincial court. A charge of mischief against Young was dropped.
Crown prosecutor Katie Clarey asked the court to fine Young and impose a one-year probation. She also asked that Young be prohibited from owning weapons, have no access to Internet except for work purposes, attend counselling and not contact his victim.
“This has really ruined someone’s life,” said Crown Prosecutor Clarey.
But Young’s defence lawyer, Maurice Collard, said this incident has also destroyed Young’s life in Central Alberta and forced him out of Red Deer.
“He’s moved to the Columbia Valley in British Columbia since
March in order to escape his own stigma of being charged with this.”
Collard said Young’s “motivation while framed as vigilantism was not to cause harm to people. His motivation, although misguided, was to protect other people from exploitation.”
Collard argued that although there is no doubt that Rajah was victimized by the actions of Young, he said there was no need for probation or conditions because of the conditions Young has been under since he was charged December 2016.
“They have restricted his liberty.”
Collard also said restricting Young’s access to the Internet is a “significant sanction on liberty.”
Collard said a fine was sufficient as a denunciative sanction and there’s no need for rehabilitation, probation or a weapons prohibition.
“There will be an entrance into a criminal record and the conviction for criminal harassment,” added Collard. “That in and of itself comprises a punitive component and sends a message to Mr. Young that this court has found that his actions constitute harassment.”
Blackfalds LIFE breaks story about the criminal harassment of Rajah
The Blackfalds LIFE broke the story of the Creep Catcher incident in its Dec. 1, 2016, piece, “Lacombe man victim of Red Deer Creep Catcher.” Then, following our story, on Dec. 5, 2016, Young was arrested and charged by Lacombe Police with criminal harassment and mischief in connection with the incident. (See links to related stories below.)
“In this case police believe the victim was targeted online and lured into a situation by a person or group using vigilante type tactics without justification or facts to support their claims,” said Lorne Blumhagen then Acting Chief of Police LPS after Young’s arrest Dec. 5, 2016.
“In November the suspect, under a false pretense, convinced the victim to meet in person at a location in Lacombe,” said then Acting Lacombe Police Chief Lorne Blumhagen.
“The victim did attend the location where he was approached by a male wearing a hoodie who put a cellphone in his face and advised the victim he is being recorded and has been busted by Creep Catchers. Friends of the victim happened to pass by and see the encounter at which time the victim was able to leave and get in a vehicle with the friends. The video of the incident was later posted to the Red Deer Creep Catchers Facebook page making false allegations against the victim. The posting has since been removed.”
Young claims to work with Alberta I.C.E.
Carl Young, claimed to the Blackfalds LIFE in 2016 that he sometimes works with, and testifies in court, for Alberta Integrated Child Exploitation (I.C.E.) – an elite, highly trained law enforcement unit that catches child predators.
But Alberta I.C.E. Unit Staff Sgt. John Guigon told the Blackfalds LIFE in December 2016 that I.C.E. would never work with a vigilante group.
“Unequivocally no, not ever,” said S/Sgt. Guigon. “They are not affiliated with I.C.E. They have nothing to do with police and they don’t testify in court for us.”
S/Sgt. Guigon said anything vigilante groups like Creep Catchers collects isn’t usable in court and they hinder and interfere with legitimate police investigations.
Young, aka Murphy, also claimed that he had Lacombe Police standing by during Creep Catcher’s ‘sting’ against the Lacombe victim (Rajah).
But Lacombe Police said this isn’t true.
“Any claims alleging that Creep Catchers are working with the Lacombe Police Service are false!” said then Acting Lacombe Police Chief Lorne Blumhagen to the Blackfalds LIFE in December 2016.
Creep catchers harasses media
After the Blackfalds LIFE did the first creep catcher story in December 2016, the individual arrested for his creep catcher actions, Carl Young who goes by the alias of Carl Murphy, threated to “blow up” the writer of the story, Lisa Joy of Blackfalds LIFE, and called on his “followers” and others in the movement to harass Joy. They phoned, emailed and harassed her in person for more than a year.
After Joy’s first story ran in 2016, W5 contacted the Blackfalds LIFE and asked the Blackfalds LIFE to connect them with the Lacombe victim from the Blackfalds LIFE’s story. The Blackfalds LIFE did and W5 went to Lacombe and Red Deer in January and February 2017.
W5 interviewed the victim and his family. W5 also reviewed the chat logs between Creep Catcher Carl Murphy and the Lacombe victim (Rajah) and concluded “there was no sexual content” in the victim’s conversations with Carl Murphy, also known as Karl Bennett Young, whose real name is Carl Young. After doing their national documentary piece W5 was harassed online by Surrey Creep Catchers.
W5 reveals outstanding warrant against Young
W5’s investigation also revealed that there was an outstanding warrant in New Brunswick for the arrest of Young. The warrant was for trafficking in cocaine and ecstasy, obstructing a peace officer and failing to appear in court. The arrest warrant for Young was issued in 2006. In 2006 the federal prosecutor was going by way of indictable offence on the charges against Young, which is reserved for more serious offences. Young left New Brunswick and moved to Alberta in about 2006 or 2007. The charges against Young, however, were dropped in 2017.
“All charges have been withdrawn,” a federal prosecutor in Moncton, who didn’t want her name used, told the Blackfalds LIFE in a phone interview in April 2017. The federal prosecutor, however, wouldn’t say why the charges were dropped.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss that,” she said.
Young claims to be a journalist
The one-and-half-hour Lacombe Police video of Young being interviewed after he was arrested December 2016, was played in court during Young’s one-day trial in August 2017.
In the police video Young told Lacombe Police that he was under the freedom of the press protection claiming he is a journalist and police couldn’t charge him.
In July 2017, however, the B.C.’s Privacy Commissioner rejected Surrey Creep Catcher’s argument that they are journalists (see link below to story “Creep Catchers operations illegal and online opinions violates privacy: privacy commissioner.”)
Also in the police video, Young said he was worried about criminal charges and wanted to make sure any criminal charges didn’t go through claiming he was lined up to make “good money” turning his Creep Catcher group into a non-profit organization.
In the video Young is heard saying that he would have no remorse if anything bad happened to the victim (Rajah) that he targeted in Lacombe.
The video also showed Young admitting that he knew the Lacombe victim he targeted had a cognitive learning disability. (He suffers from a non-verbal learning disorder that keeps him from picking up social ques.)
In addition, the police video showed Young boasting that he “owned” all of the Red Deer buy and sell Facebook pages, Facebook opinion pages, Facebook Scanner Hounds, Facebook confession pages and a Facebook news page called Red Deer News Chasers. Young also runs a Facebook page called Blackfalds.news, which he created in 2017.
Blackfalds LIFE recognized nationally for Creep Catcher stories
In April 2017, Blackfalds LIFE’s Lisa Joy won a national journalism award in Toronto for her series of stories on “Lacombe Man Victim of Red Deer Creep Catchers.”
Joy’s stories on Creep Catchers were also picked up by the national news investigative team from W5, who later came to Lacombe and Red Deer. W5, who was already working on their national story about Creep Catchers, featured the Lacombe victim from the Blackfalds LIFE story in their documentary “Creep Out” that aired in February 2017.
In December, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s (ALERT) elite Internet Child Exploitation team (.I.CE.), sent a letter to the editor to the Blackfalds LIFE commending the article “Lacombe man victim of Red Deer Creep Catchers” saying it was “an important and meaningful insight into the issue. It reiterates the importance of journalism, and its value in shedding light on social issues.”
About Creep Catchers
Creep Catchers groups – many of them ex convicts with lengthy criminal records – post gotcha videos of suspected pedophiles as click bait to monetize their sites, selling their own paraphernalia and products.
Although creep catcher stings across Canada have resulted in a few criminal charges against individuals, their methods have been criticized.
Related stories in chronological order: