Vernon man charged with ‘predatory conduct’

NEWS_David Willerth

David Willerth posed as modelling agent to lure children

By Angela Espinoza, News Editor

On November 7, Vernon, BC resident David Willerth was convicted of 18 charges, with 16 counts of communicating via the Internet to lure a child under the age of 16.

Willerth created a Facebook profile falsely claiming he was a modelling agent. He would use the profile to contact children in an attempt to have them send photos of themselves. Willerth is also being charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of arranging a sexual offence against a child. Willerth’s main targets were young girls between the ages of 12 and 16.

Willerth was originally arrested in July 2013, and had been awaiting trial since.

Although the Crown was seeking a seven-year prison sentence, and defence was seeking three years, Willerth was sentenced to four years and nine months, with his time awaiting trial in custody counting towards this jail time.

Justice Minister Peter Voith stated in court, “Mr. Willerth’s conduct was predatory.

“He [Willerth] was insistent and aggressive even after it was made clear to him by some of the victims that they didn’t want any further communication.”

According to the Morning Star, Willerth was previously known to police for unrelated charges of impersonation and criminal harassment.