News / Toronto

Former hospital worker faces string of charges in child exploitation probe

Toronto police say a man who once worked at a local hospital is facing 17 sex-related charges for crimes allegedly dating back to 2000.

Det. Const. Alexandra Marks says charges against Terrence Noftall were first laid in January after allegations surfaced regarding his employment at Toronto Western Hospital.

Marks alleges Noftall befriended a woman he met at the hospital, gained access to her child, then sexually assaulted the child and exposed the child to pornography.

The University Health network, which runs the hospital, declined to offer specific comment on Noftall other than to say he is no longer employed there. A Facebook profile identified by police as belonging to Noftall indicates he worked as a member of the hospital's cleaning staff since 2009.

Marks says more victims have come forward since Noftall's initial arrest with allegations that date back to 2000, some of which concern regular visits he made to a campground in Innisfil, Ont.

The 55-year-old is now facing a total of 17 charges, including four counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual interference and one count of making child pornography.

Marks, who described the case as "concerning," said police believe there may be other victims and urged anyone with details to come forward, no matter how inconsequential the tip may seem.

"Any little bit of information can be helpful to an investigation," she said at a news conference Thursday. "We will patiently listen to any bits of information that people may have."

Marks alleged Noftall's offences connected to his employment at the hospital began when he befriended the woman, who was not a patient, in 2012. That interaction began three years after Noftall was convicted of sexual interference, Marks said, declining to offer more particulars on that incident.

As part of his conviction, Noftall was issued a criminal court order for 10 years that was meant to prevent contact with children, Marks said. One of the charges Noftall faces alleges a breach of that order.

The University Health Network would not comment on the length of Noftall's employment with the organization or whether officials were aware of his criminal past.

Toronto Western Hospital Spokeswoman Alexa Giorgi, however, said the facility was implementing a policy to ask new workers for a police reference check as a condition of employment.

"We are putting processes in place to have this policy take effect on April 1," she said. "... We currently have the requirement for self-declarations by employees with regard to any interaction with the police or college disciplinary committees."

The rest of the allegations against Noftall were unrelated to his employment at the hospital, Marks said. Some of the charges relate to alleged offences against a child that took place between 2000 and 2005.

Others involved alleged interactions with a child he met at the Bee Happy Family Camp Ground between 2005 and 2009, though Marks said he had been known to frequent the facility as far back as 2000.

Noftall was also known to use Facebook and Instagram to communicate with some of the alleged victims, she added.

The investigation is ongoing.

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