A 45-year-old Calgary man and former Alberta Party candidate is facing eight charges after allegedly luring and sexually assaulting an underage girl in Airdrie.
Terrance Lo was arrested outside a restaurant in Airdrie Sept. 21, one week after the girl reported the incident to police.
Lo resigned as a candidate for the Alberta Party during the 2015 provincial election following controversy surrounding an inappropriate joke.
Airdrie RCMP Constable Jennifer Weedmark said the girl met Lo through social media, where he identified himself as a 34-year-old man named George.
The girl said they communicated through a cellphone app and arranged to meet in Airdrie, where he allegedly sexually assaulted her.
Weedmark declined to say how long they had been communicating prior to the incident or when the incident occurred.
Lo is being charged with child luring, sexual assault, sexual interference, obtaining sexual services for consideration, invitation to sexual touching, abduction and resisting arrest.
A judicial interim hearing was held following the arrest and Lo was released with conditions, including no communication with any person under the age of 18.
Weedmark declined to release the girl’s age or where she’s from for the girl’s protection. She said various victim services are being made available to the victim.
She also declined to say if Lo is a first-time offender.
“We’re not speaking to his background or criminal record at this time,” Weedmark said.
Airdrie RCMP members worked with the ALERT Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) team on the investigation.
“It was a really great investigation, quick turnover time and we got him off the streets,” Weedmark said.
She encouraged parents to pay attention to their children’s online activity.
“Be very vigilant when you’re dealing with your teenagers. We all know social media is bigger than it’s ever been these days, so really you have to keep a close eye on them,” Weedmark said.
She said parents should have full access to their children’s cellphones and should check their apps regularly.
“It happens really quickly and easily to good kids. Anybody can be looped in, everybody can be deceived, especially at young ages,” she said. “I’m not going to say it happens more often than it does in other communities but this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this happen in Airdrie. It’s a real danger.”
Representatives of The Alberta Party did not respond to requests for comment by press time.