Justin Payne in spotlight for pedophile vigilantism

Payne poses as a child on the Internet in order to lure men out for shaming. (Photo: Facebook/Justin Payne)
Payne poses as a child on the Internet in order to lure men out for shaming. (Photo: Facebook/Justin Payne)

Internet vigilantism is alive and well in the Greater Toronto Area, courtesy of self-styled “online predator” Justin Payne. Payne poses as a child on the Internet in order to lure men out for shaming, then uploads the videos to Facebook & YouTube.

Payne’s latest confrontation of a man outside a Scarborough, Ont. subway station posted on Tuesday, went viral after he raged at the man in a profanity-laced diatribe. Early in the video, Payne yells at the man, “You came to meet an 11-year-old girl off the Internet. I was talking to you the whole time — that was me!”

Unfortunately and beyond the ill-advised public shaming, his videos are of no help to police, since he is not trained and does not follow proper procedure when dealing with the people he goes after.

Toronto Police spokesperson Mark Pugash told Global News the force has yet to receive any information from Payne about his vigilante activities.

According to Pugash, “He has no training. There is considerable risk to what he does. “I’m not sure you can catch anyone — and by catch I mean hold them to account legally — if you’re not trained in how to do it.”

Pugash noted that Payne could be putting himself at risk if he receives child pornography from the men he targets.

Those risks also extend to his vigilantism, according to lawyer Ari Goldkind, who told CityNews last year that Payne could be breaking the law: “While we are all completely against pedophilia no matter which side of the fence we are on, this guy could have been charged himself with luring. He’s on the Internet posing as a 12-year-old.”

Payne isn’t the only vigilante going after online pedophiles; chapters of an organization called “Creep Catcher” have been sprouting in cities across the country from British Columbia to News Brunswick.
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