We’re here to expose guys like you,” Luke Arnott can be heard telling another man on a video shot last week in his hometown of Carleton Place, Ont.
Arnott is a tattoo artist and father of five. The other man in the video has come to the McDonald’s parking lot off Highway 7 to meet a 14-year-old girl.
“You’re here to meet Becky, aren’t you?” Arnott demands.
The man can be heard saying “yeah,” he was there to meet Becky, before shouting expletives and leaving in his car.
But there is no Becky.
“There’s an important principle in our society, and that’s people are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. And investigations like this can catch up innocent people in sort of vigilante type of justice,” said Spratt, a partner at Abergel Goldstein & Partners.
Spratt said even well-meaning vigilantes can potentially interfere with the court process if charges are laid in a case they’ve been involved in.
“Evidence can be tainted, memories are always vulnerable at the best of times, there can be severe evidentiary problems that … these vigilante investigations can lead to, and that can imperil the actual court process,” said Spratt.
“So innocent people may be caught up in this sort of dragnet, but also guilty people may escape justice because of this sort of action. And that’s not something anyone wants,” he said.
Read Hillary Johnstone’s full article: CBC