The trial of a member of ‘Red Deer Creep Catchers’, charged with criminal harassment, will continue in the Red Deer Provincial Court next month.
Karl Young was charged after an investigation by the Lacombe Police Service last November. The charges stem after Jaden Rajah, 24, of Lacombe, was allegedly harassed online and in person.
In the first day of trial proceedings last week, court heard testimony from Sgt. John Hubbard of the Lacombe Police Service. He said on Dec. 3rd, 2016, a complaint of criminal harassment was received that involved Young.
“Shortly before noon, I contacted Mr. Young on the phone. The phone call got heated. He basically yelled at me,” he said. “He told me either I work with him or make him into a shining star.”
Young later attended the Lacombe Police station where an hour and a half interview took place.
In the interview Young told Hubbard that Rajah messaged him on a social media app. Young, who went by the name Tanner on the app, said he initially told Rajah he was 18-years-old and then later told Rajah he was 15-years-old.
Rajah, who told court that he has a non-verbal disability, later testified that when he learned of Young being underage, he told Young he should not be on the dating app. Rajah said he then blocked Young on the app.
Rajah also testified that he later saw Young on the app again. Rajah said being part of the LGBTQ community and being a leader of two support groups at the time, he reached out to Young to offer support.
Young said after three months of conversations, Rajah invited him to meet at a parking lot in Lacombe at about 1 a.m. on Nov. 23rd, 2016. The plan was to go back to Rajah’s apartment to watch a movie.
Rajah said when he arrived at the meeting place, Young identified himself as the 15-year-old boy Rajah had thought he had been talking to. Young began filming their encounter. It was later posted online.
On the video, Rajah can be heard saying, “I’m really scared right now. I’m not a creep, I’m not a molester, I’m nothing.”
In the police interview, which was also played in court, Young said the next day Rajah sent him a message over social media.
“You caught me. I’m glad you caught me. It shook me up pretty bad,” Young told Hubbard the message said. On the stand, Rajah acknowledged that message.
The case will continue Sept. 20th in Red Deer.