Former Degrassi actor facing charges
A man and woman were arrested following an investigation into sexual abuse of children and animals.
CTV News Toronto: Colin Perkel , The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, August 25, 2016 10:39AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 25, 2016 12:19PM EDT
TORONTO — A former actor, his partner, and two other women have been charged with various sex and child pornography offences following an eight-month investigation, Toronto police said Thursday.
Jason (Byrd) Dickens, who played a minor role in the TV series “Degrassi High,” and Dylan Anne (Doll) McEwen also face bestiality charges unrelated to children.
“The investigation has resulted in the rescue of children who were not only being sexually abused, but then further exploited by having this abuse permanently captured by the recording of it,” said Insp. Pauline Gray. “We are concerned there may be more victims.”
The arrests followed a search of a Toronto home and workplace in April in which police say they found evidence a couple was sexually abusing children and animals, and were making images and videos of the child abuse and distributing them online.
As a result, police charged Dickens, 45, and McEwen, 31, both of Toronto, with several child pornography and sexual assault counts, along with bestiality offences related to unspecified animals. Both remained in custody Thursday.
Dickens acted in 10 episodes of “Degrassi High” between 1989 and 1991, playing the role of Scott Smith, the abusive boyfriend of the character Kathleen Mead, before switching into film and TV production and technical roles in which he is still active.
The charges have no bearing on his work, Det. Mike Sabadin, of the sex-crimes child-exploitation unit, said.
Dickens, who apparently used several online handles including Retodeviant, Byrd–Dawg, Sir Dirk, also frequented various bondage and fetish sex sites, Sabadin said.
Following further investigation and an analysis of seized electronic devices, police alleged Dickens and another woman had sexually abused a child and committed offences related to child pornography over six years starting in 2000.
Dickens faces additional charges related to these occurrences while a woman, 57, of London, Ont., has been charged with sexual assault and child pornography offences. Police did not name her.
Also charged with making child pornography is Tina Ewen, 25, of Thunder Bay, Ont., who police allege met Dickens online.
Dickens and McEwen are scheduled to appear in a Toronto court on Sept. 1. Ewen is scheduled to appear in court in Thunder Bay on Sept, 27. The London woman is slated to appear on Oct. 6 in court in Toronto.