This article first appeared in VICE Canada.
Ryan LaForge, the president of the Surrey, BC chapter of the vigilante pedophile hunter group Creep Catchers is being sued for defamation after video posted of his group accusing a man of pedophilia was seen over 56,000 times.
The Creep Catchers are a loosely organized collective of vigilante pedophile hunters, their chapters crisscross the country. The vigilantes pretend to be underage children and lure adults to meet the fake minors for sex. When the men arrive to meet the child, they film the encounter and put it online to shame the person.
Some of the videos created by Creep Catchers, or people operating in a similar vein, have been seen millions or hundreds of thousands of times.
Global News, who obtained the court documents, said the plaintiff alleges LaForge published "defamatory words to the effect of indicating that the Plaintiff was involved in a scheme to procure sexual relations with an under-aged female.
As a result, the plaintiff said that he was "subjected to ridicule, hatred and contempt and has suffered damages to his reputation personally and in the way of his business."
The last two months haven't been kind to the Surrey based vigilantes, on February 20 it was announced that after a complaint by the public the B.C. Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is investigating the group. Furthermore the CBC published an investigative article into how the creep catchers ambushed a man suffering from mental illness—something the group has been known to do.
The contact between Laforge and the plaintiff allegedly took place on February 6, 2017—none of the claims in the civil case have been proven in court.
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