Online scandal leaves North Island father wary

A North Vancouver Island teen was involved in an online relationship with an Australian man arrested earlier this year

PORT McNEILL—The father of a North Vancouver Island teen wants parents to be alert to what their children are doing online, as the result of a relationship his daughter had with an Australian man who was arrested earlier this year on child sex charges.

The man discovered his daughter’s correspondence with the man on Facebook and through other social media, and alerted RCMP.

The RCMP then contacted Australian authorities, who arrested Paul John Kelly, 48, of Grovedale, Victoria, Australia.

According to a story published in the Geelong (Victoria) Advertiser, Kelly was charged under commonwealth legislation with using a carriage service to transmit indecent communications to a child under 16 and using a carriage service to groom a child under 16 for sexual activities.

He was also charged under state legislation with possessing child pornography.

The Port McNeill man said the relationship went on for nearly two years, beginning when his daughter was 13, before he discovered it.

“I just didn’t know,” he said. “I never looked. I think people have to know what danger our kids are in with that Facebook stuff.”