Ottawa Man Pleads Guilty to Multiple Child Sex Crimes, Faces Total of 82 Charges with Numerous Victims
Warning, this story contains graphic content.
Children knew Karl Njolstad as the neighbour who would eagerly invite them over to make movies in his rowhouse basement, filming the kids in front of a green screen as they pretended to fly or swim.
But that’s not why Njolstad invited the children over — it was how he lured them into his home. Details emerged in court this week of a horrific sex crimes case, one involving numerous young victims, thousands of images of child pornography, and a total of 82 charges.
Njolstad, 57, pleaded guilty on Thursday to the first nine of those charges, admitting he sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl and produced child pornography involving the girl and three other young female victims, all of whom he filmed secretly.
He kept the cameras rolling — some were concealed around a mirror, and some he adjusted remotely from an adjoining room — while asking the young children to change into swimsuits or costumes he insisted they bring to the “movie” shoots.
The charges include making and possessing child pornography, sexual touching and sexual interference of a minor — all of the victims were under 14 years old — forcible confinement and sexual assault.
Investigators uncovered a cache of child pornography in his home when they arrested Njolstad, who turned himself in to police two days after a disturbing sexual assault on Aug. 2, 2017 was reported to police.
Police initially said they feared there were more victims as they uncovered 6,330 images of child pornography, all alleged to be made by Njolstad. Of those, 5,334 were unique images. The others had been manipulated to insert his own naked body into images he allegedly took of naked children in sexually explicit poses.
Police also seized 27 videos. All were placed under court seal following Thursday’s hearing.
His guilty plea applies only to one set of charges, which date between June and August, 2017.
However, he faces dozens of further charges that have yet to be tested in court. Investigators laid those charges after his arrest.
Some of the charges date back 25 years and also involve young female children. It’s unclear how many total victims there are.
Crown prosecutor Marie Dufort said the new charges, laid as recently as September, are “as involved” as the original charges Njolstad pleaded guilty to, with “significant evidence.”
The names of the young victims he preyed upon, and any details that could identify them are shielded by a court-ordered publication ban.
Njolstad appeared somewhat confused in court Thursday as he eventually entered his guilty plea before Justice Jonathan Brunet.
“I’ve been really falling apart since I’ve been there (in custody at OCDC),” he said, appearing clean-shaven and frail, and entirely different from the smiling social media photos documenting visits to exotic locales like Thailand.