“Santa Shawn” charged with making child pornography
DURHAM – An Oshawa man known to kids in Toronto malls as ‘Santa Shawn’ has been charged with producing and distributing child pornography.
Shawn Chiasson, 37, of King Street East in Oshawa was arrested on Wednesday at the end of a combined undercover internet investigation begun in November 2010 by the Durham Regional Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit, the Toronto Police Service and the O.P.P.’s Behavioural Sciences Section.
Police seized several computer hard drives at his home containing a large collection of child pornography materials.
Chiasson operates the Kids Matter Family Day Care on King Street East in Oshawa and six months earlier, he operated a similar business on Thorogood Street in Ajax before moving to Oshawa in November 2010.
An initial scan of the seized pornographic materials did not indicate he was abusing children under his care, cops said.
Chiasson also worked as a Santa Claus by the name Santa Shawn in various malls across the Greater Toronto Area. These included Promenade Mall, Fairview Mall, Hillcrest Mall, Centrepoint Mall, East York Mall, and Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids hair salons.
Chiasson is currently in custody awaiting a bail hearing.
The investigation is ongoing and the hard drives are being examined to determine if victims can be identified.
Detectives request anyone with previous contact with the accused to contact Det. Randy Norton of the Major Crime SAU/ Child Exploitation Section at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5363.
Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.