The media has painted them as vigilantes but the child advocates with People vs. Predators are anything but.
People vs. Predators is a group of severely normal people who spend hundreds of volunteer man-hours to utilize existing legal mechanisms to keep suspected child sex predators off the street.
They are NOT pedophile hunters in the style of Dateline NBC, doing stings with Chris Hansen to catch molesters in the act. PvP, as they are known, come in after charges have been laid and the suspected offender is granted bail to be free, with conditions, living in the community awaiting trial or sentencing.
How People vs. Predators Helps Victims
PvP is often approached by victims and their families, asking for help after becoming aware their offenders are still living in their neighborhoods. In at least one instance, the offender was just a few doors down and close to a playground.
PvP then systematically petitions the neighborhood where the bailed out alleged offender lives, collecting signatures calling for bail to be revoked.
And it’s worked in Edmonton. Prosecutors have used PvP petitions as proof of community concerns that should be taken into account when the court considers bail.
History of Success Using Justice System, Protests
Wade Stene was released to serve house arrest near his alleged 8-year-old victim. PvP held a protest outside the home of Stene for two weeks before Stene asked to go back to jail for his own good.
Donald Dupuis was living near his victim in St. Albert after serving 12 months for his sex crimes but after he ended up on the radar of PvP, he moved.
PvP has recently turned its focus to Damien Starrett in Fort Saskatchewan. Starrett is out on bail, accused of second-degree murder in the killing of his one-year-old son.
There's no shortage of suspected predators to try to put back in jail. The coronavirus pandemic has led to many offenders being released for their safety.
I met with three leaders of People vs. Predators in the Edmonton home of Cheri Easton, who walked me through the astounding successes of PvP in keeping suspected child sex offenders off the street and the setback they experienced when trying to send accused baby killer Starrett back to jail.