A notorious Saskatoon sexual predator will learn his fate this summer on charges relating to molesting children and making child pornography.
Russell Wolfe’s sentencing hearing was delayed this week to give the Crown time to consider whether to ask a judge to designate him as a dangerous or long-term offender — potentially exposing him to incarceration for the rest of his life.
Wolfe, 58, pleaded guilty in March to 20 counts, including sexual assaults against eight young girls between 1997 and 2007, and four charges of buying sex from minors relating to seven girls victimized between 1997 and 2008.
Those charges stemmed from Wolfe being caught up in a nationwide police sweep of offenders sharing child pornography online in 2014. Subsequent searches of his computer led officers to conclude Wolfe had in fact been recording himself abusing his victims in his Saskatoon home.
Cpl. Jared Clarke is an RCMP officer assigned to Saskatchewan’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit, which is made up of Mounties alongside members of the Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert police services.
Speaking Wednesday on Gormley, Clarke said the Wolfe case was unique, even for officers who see hundreds of horrific images in their work.
“Having a case where you’re looking at all of this abuse material, but then sitting down and actually meeting the victims and interviewing them — it definitely brought the case a little closer to home, that’s for sure,” he said.
Clarke estimated thousands of hours were devoted to identifying and finding the victims, with officers canvassing the area around Wolfe’s home and checking photos against yearbooks at a nearby school.
While Wolfe will wait until June for sentencing, Clark said police will continue working to find the names of three out of 14 known victims who have yet to be identified.
“It was a big uphill battle to try and take a picture of a young girl who’s nine, 10, 12 years old –obviously she’s not holding a name card with her name in it – and then try and figure out who she is now,” he said.