Its new legal territory, because I cant give any statements of the victims or the dates or place of the crime, Robb said.
The warrant cites McTurks two previous convictions for child pornography in 1995 and 1998, both of which involved girls in Cuba. It lays out a travel record, obtained by police from the Canadian Border Services Agency, that indicates McTurk visited Cuba dozens of times over a four-year span.
Robb found McTurk had made eight trips to Cuba in 2009, another eight the following year, 10 more in 2011and five in just the first few months of 2012. In the four months that police were investigating McTurk in 2012, he visited Cuba twice.
Based on James McTurks past history and his apparent continuing behavior, investigators are very concerned for the safety of these young Cuban girls, Robbs search warrant says.
The warrant approved, Robb headed to McTurks apartment. When the 10-year veteran of the force knocked on the door on July 11, 2012, McTurk wasnt there.
He was in Cuba.
On July 24, 2012, two weeks after Robb searched the apartment, McTurk arrived on a charter flight back from the beach resort of Varadero. The detective was there to welcome him home.
Robb arranged for McTurk to be stopped by customs officials who normally would have had no reason to suspect the man of any wrongdoing and waited.
McTurk presented his passport. The border agents told the unsuspecting McTurk to step aside for a secondary inspection where Robb and another officer were waiting to make the arrest.
In an interview, Robb said McTurk had only a carry-on bag when he was arrested. Inside, police found about a dozen electronic devices, including a camera, digital storage cards and USB keys containing images from his trip. Police retrieved the video and photo evidence and said it appeared he had illegal physical contact with four different girls who appear to range from 4 to 12 years old.
Police immediately charged McTurk with possession of, accessing, and importing child pornography. And then they began the arduous legal process of having the child-sex tourism charges filed.
Toronto police cant impose those charges on their own; they must first get approval from Ontario prosecutors. So Robb drew up an application to the attorney general, outlining the case. That wound its way through the ministry, getting approval from local and then regional attorneys, and then landing in the attorney generals office in late January.
The charges six counts of sexual interference and one each of invitation to sexual touching, making child pornography and exposure were finally signed off on Feb. 12. On Monday, McTurks case will be in front of a judge in a north Toronto courthouse. (Through his lawyer, McTurk declined to speak with The Star.)
McTurks first brush with the law was in 1995, when he was convicted of possessing child pornography. A clerk at a central photo developing plant had reported some disturbing photos that portrayed adolescent girls in sexual activity with an older man, according to the police report at the time.
Brought in for questioning by police, McTurk gave a voluntary written statement in which he admitted that he had experienced sexual intercourse with two of the girls in the photos while he was vacationing in Cuba, a police report says. The report cites McTurk as saying the girls were 17; at the time, he was 61.