A 42-year-old Ottawa man has been slapped with more than 180 criminal charges following an eight-month investigation into allegations of cyber bullying and harassment.
Police say there are 38 victims in this case across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Eighteen of the victims are from Ottawa.
The case was opened in the fall after one victim came forward to police. It was so complex, that by January, Project Winter was launched.
"This Project Winter brought a level of intricacy that we in the Ottawa Police had not encountered before," said Acting Insp. Carl Cartright. "Imagine a spider web - at the end of the day you try to get to the centre of the web and the centre of the web in this case was the accused individual."
Ottawa Police say working with RCMP, they used investigative techniques that allowed them to identify the suspect, who was using internet anonymity software.
"He was pretending to be who he was not, contacting other individuals, posting things online and harassing, defaming, affecting individuals' personal lives, affecting their economic well-being by the slanderous material that was being put out there," said Cartright.
Police executed a search warrant Thursday at a home in the city's west end and laid the charges against Robert Campbell.
He has been charged with 27 counts of criminal harassment, 85 counts of defamation libel and 69 counts of identity fraud.
Police say they received assistance from police in British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the United Kingdom and Michigan.
Police have not ruled out the possibility of more victims. They are asking anyone who believes they are a victim to come forward.
Campbell appeared briefly at the Elgin Street Courthouse by video Friday morning. He stood quietly with his hands cuffed in front of him, speaking only to state his name, and answer "okay."
His lawyer asked for time to received evidence from Crown Prosecutors.
He is scheduled to return to court August 7th.