CREEP CATCHER DE­FI­ANT

Ryan LaForge wants a judge to set aside an or­der that he de­stroy videos, vow­ing that even if he’s jailed, ‘I’ll just do it again’

The Province - - FRONT PAGE - KEITH FRASER kfraser@post­media.com

The de­fi­ant leader of Sur­rey Creep Catcher is go­ing to court in a bid to set aside an or­der that he de­stroy videos of con­fronta­tions with two men who com­plained they were am­bushed by the vig­i­lante group.

Ryan LaForge has filed a pe­ti­tion in B.C. Supreme Court that chal­lenges a find­ing by act­ing in­for­ma­tion and pri­vacy com­mis­sioner Drew McArthur that the group vi­o­lated the pri­vacy of the com­plainants.

“The com­mis­sioner is an id­iot,” LaForge said in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day. “That’s why I’m ap­peal­ing it. When a real judge sees it, it will get over­turned for sure.”

The two men com­plained that the group in­duced them to have on­line com­mu­ni­ca­tions with a fic­ti­tious woman over the age of 18, sub­se­quently con­veyed that the de­coy was un­der the age of 16 and then ar­ranged a meet­ing to con­front each man for at­tempt­ing to lure a mi­nor.

The con­fronta­tions were video­taped and then dis­sem­i­nated on so­cial me­dia, prompt­ing the men to com­plain to the com­mis­sioner that they hadn’t con­sented to the videos and their pri­vate in­for­ma­tion was im­prop­erly col­lected, used and dis­closed.

In a rul­ing re­leased last month, McArthur found that the or­ga­ni­za­tion had not ob­tained the con­sent of the two men and had no au­thor­ity to col­lect their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. The two men are not iden­ti­fied.

McArthur dis­missed the claim by Sur­rey Creep Catcher that they were act­ing as jour­nal­ists and should be ex­empt from the ap­pli­ca­ble law and or­dered that the videos and on­line com­mu­ni­ca­tions be de­stroyed by Sept. 6.

In his pe­ti­tion, LaForge says the com­mis­sioner was wrong to char­ac­ter­ize Sur­rey Creep Catcher as an or­ga­ni­za­tion since it has no de­fined struc­ture or in­ter­nal rules.

He says the group is an “ad hoc move­ment” of like-minded ci­ti­zens ded­i­cated to en­sur­ing that in­di­vid­u­als who ex­pressed an in­ter­est in lur­ing girls and boys for sex­ual pur­poses are ex­posed and hope­fully charged and con­victed.

Re­gard­ing the claims by LaForge that the group was en­gaged in jour­nal­ism, McArthur found that there was no fair at­tempt to de­scribe or an­a­lyze the facts or to pro­vide opin­ion or de­bate and that the pur­pose of the ex­er­cise was in­stead en­trap­ment.

But LaForge in­sisted that the group was ful­fill­ing an im­por­tant public ser­vice and at no time was there any ex­pec­ta­tion of pri­vacy for the com­plainants.

“In any way, shape or form you want to look at, it’s jour­nal­ism,” he said Wed­nes­day. “There’s an epi­demic go­ing around. Pe­dophilia has been go­ing on since the be­gin­ning of time and we’re just shed­ding light on it.”

While he’s hope­ful a judge will quash the or­der, he added that he would give a judge the same de­fi­ant mes­sage if the pe­ti­tion is turned down.

“There’s noth­ing phys­i­cally, there’s noth­ing hy­po­thet­i­cally to stop me. The only thing they can do to stop me is put me in jail for awhile. And then when I get out, I’ll just do it again.”

A spokeswoman for the com­mis­sioner’s of­fice said there will be a re­sponse filed in court to the pe­ti­tion. She added that there would be no com­ment at this time be­cause the mat­ter is be­fore the courts.

“The only thing they can do to stop me is put me in jail for awhile. And then when I get out, I’ll just do it again.” — Ryan LaForge

TOM ZYTARUK/SUR­REY NOW FILES

Ryan LaForge of the Sur­rey Creep Catcher group has filed a pe­ti­tion in B.C. Supreme Court chal­leng­ing an or­der by B.C.’s act­ing pri­vacy com­mis­sioner.

— FACE­BOOK

Two men com­plained to B.C.’s pri­vacy com­mis­sioner that mem­bers of Sur­rey Creep Catcher, seen here pos­ing for a photo, con­fronted them in public and then dis­sem­i­nated video of the con­fronta­tion on so­cial me­dia.

RYAN LAFORGE

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