Winnipeg man charged with sexual assault, child abuse imagery crimes against 2 children at home daycare

By Jeff Stapleton/CBC

Winnipeg police have arrested a man in connection with sexual assault and child sexual abuse imagery crimes. In September 2021, police started investigating allegations of child sexual abuse at a home between July and August 2021. Police said a child was assaulted by a man at the man's house on Aberdeen Avenue, which is also an unlicensed home daycare that the child attended. The man lived in the home but did not run or work at the daycare, police said. Robert Dale Prince, 36, was arrested and charged with sexual assault and sexual interference in October. Then in January 2022, the Winnipeg police internet child exploitation unit was notified about child sexual abuse imagery that was published on a popular social media platform in April 2021. Police identified two children in the images, one of them the child in the earlier case. Both children are younger than 10 and both went to the daycare. Prince was identified as a suspect, and police seized his electronics. Over 150 child sexual abuse images and videos were found on the devices, police said. Both children are depicted being sexually assaulted in the images and videos.

Prince was arrested again on April 11 and charged with another count of sexual assault and sexual interference, in connection with the second child, and multiple crimes related to the child sexual abuse images of both children. "These are crimes of access and opportunity. The offenders in this type of situation … they don't hide behind the proverbial bushes. They are among us. They are in places, unfortunately, where some of our children may attend," Winnipeg police Const. Dani McKinnon said.  Unlicensed daycares are not monitored by the province. McKinnon urged parents who are thinking of choosing a home daycare, either licensed or unlicensed, to thoroughly vet the daycare beforehand. Things parents or caregivers can inquire about include whether the daycare does criminal and child abuse registry checks on employees, who else lives at the house or has access to it, and whether parents are welcome to come in and out of the house to check on their kids.

Prince is charged with:

Two counts of sexual assault.

Two counts of sexual interference.

Two counts of making, printing, publishing or possessing for publication any child pornography.

Two counts of possession of child pornography.

Importing, distributing, selling or possessing for distribution or sale any child pornography.

Accessing child pornography.