A Campbell River father is suing the president of Surrey Creep Catchers for defamation, after a social media attack on him suggested he was a pedophile.
Sean Smith is now the third person to sue the controversial group, claiming they’re vigilante justice is going too far and hurting innocent people.
Sean Smith says his reputation has been so badly damaged by the president of Creepcatchers Surrey he had to sue to prove the claims were false.
“You can’t go out and accuse people of something without any evidence to support it and expect to get away with it,” says Smith.
The Campbell River blogger and social media educator’s civil case centres around comments made on social media by Ryan Laforge last December. It was posted after Smith made an online video that was critical of the vigilante groups methods: posing as underage girls and boys with the aim of trapping men who are trying to hook-up with the children for sex.
“If you are a dissenter you are a target right away,” says Sean Smith.
He says almost immediately he was bombarded with threats from members of Surrey Creepcatchers.
“This guy must be a pedi himself,” says Smith reading the comments directed at him. “He’s acting like he got caught. All of these things and it starts to reach a saturation point when, where you know this is my livelihood,” says Smith.
Ryan Laforge says he has no intention of taking down posts that still remain active on social media.
Despite the lawsuit’s claims, many members of Surrey Creep Catchers have continued the angry campaign against him leading to intimidation that includes death threats.
“On a pretty regular basis if I see him I’m going to break his jaw, kill him, put a bullet to his head,” reads Smith.
This lawsuit is as much about online defamation as it is about clearing Sean Smith’s name, who says with defamatory posts about him still active on social media, that is something he is still trying to do.