Age of Consent

2017 ,    »  -   12 Comments
Ratings: 7.22/10 from 50 users.

Social media has become a breeding ground for the modern sexual predator. But it's also provided a platform by which investigators can pinpoint and apprehend these deviants. Justin Payne isn't a professional law enforcement officer, but he's made it his mission to rid his community of this abhorrent element. The hard-hitting documentary Age of Consent, produced with unflinching honesty by VICE News, introduces us to his controversial form of vigilante justice.

In the moonlit parking lots of Toronto's suburbs, Justin and his cameraman Gerry bury their heads in their cell phones. Together, they work to spark the interest of pedophiles by pretending they're young children between the ages of 11 and 14. The texts they exchange with these grown men inevitably turn flirtatious. Graphic photos are requested, connections are furthered through phone conversations, and face-to-face meetings are arranged.

Once they arrive at the meeting site, Justin and Gerry angrily confront each potential predator with the overwhelming evidence they have collected through phone calls and texts. They don't have the authority to initiate an official arrest, but they record each confrontation and post the resulting "gotcha" videos online for all to see. By shaming these offenders-in-waiting, the vigilante duo hopes to raise public awareness and thwart future instances of pedophilia in their community.

The police are well aware of their crusade, and look upon any attempts at operating outside of the law as more of a hindrance than a benefit. The community, however, seems to have embraced their efforts for the most part.

Seasoned throughout the film are the insights of Dr. James Cantor, a leading expert in the psychology of the pedophile. We learn that an unseemly attraction to children is usually the result of a cerebral anomaly that most pedophiles share.

We also discover what makes Justin tick. Growing up in a troubled and lonely environment, and finding himself the victim of constant bullying from an early age, he feels a special kinship towards those who undergo extreme abuse and isolation.

His quest to hold abusers accountable is littered with stomach-turning moments of despair and inhumanity. We hear him assume the identity of a young boy, and speak to one predator after another on the phone. The film pulls no punches by including every graphic detail of these calls.

Age of Consent is a tough watch, but it depicts a reality we can’t afford to ignore.

Directed by: Shawney Cohen

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12 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Janine

    What amazing guys you are! Its sad that police are so caught up with protocols but helping protect children is one of the most important things you could ever do. You may not get arrests from your work BUT paedophiles think twice because of you. The future for many kids has changed because of your actions although you will never know who. You do what we would all like to do but don't. Thankyou for caring so much but don't hurt yourselves in the process.

  2. Eddie

    These two should get a civilian award for their work. Children should be protected by adults...not VICTIMISED by them.

    Where do I sign up to sponsor these guys ?

  3. Frank

    Protect children!! Put the pigs in jail or hang them !!!

  4. Eddie

    The police should do what Lee Iacocca advocated during his tenure at Chrysler...lead...follow...or get out of the way.


    The age of consent should be increased to 23 years. If you disagree, you should be castrated and boiled alive.

  6. Christopher Halfmann

    this man is a hero. And if he has a PayPal account to send money to that to help him continue his goal which I guess is retribution.

  7. Hans

    People like these are just as wrong in what they're doing as when police officers hold drug sting operations. They're creating crime, and that in itself should be punished harshly.

    You're an idiot if you think that a 17 year old should receive (or even deserves) the same protection as a 7-year-old. At 17 you're virtually an adult compared to at only 7 (most other societies actually realize that). There are 15-year-olds (especially girls) who themselves are sexual predators, at least in my country.

    Age of consent at 23? Are you insane? Sounds like a fundamentalist Christian who thinks that children are the property of the parents. Even 18 is unrealistically high. Ask teenagers themselves. Teenagers have their own lives, no matter what reactionary politicians and lawyers say. The establishment lives in the 1950s when it comes to sex.

    It's just sex, it's not worse than that. We're not talking white slavery or torture. The general public's view has been incredibly distorted by feminists who see older teenagers as competition. And rightly so. The average modern woman has already become untolerable in her mid 20s, so why not have a bit of teen sex here and there? You're not getting any from your wife anyway. Instead of jailing men for a biological need, women should get themselves a personality and not think that marriage means that the man takes care of her and she doesn't have to do anything, but give a little bad sex every two months.

  8. menckensman

    This appears to be a case of 'good intentions' by someone very immature, overly emotional, and ill suited [intellectually/emotionally] to handle such serious affairs. And for Christ sake man, first wash your filthy clothes, learn how to wear a cap properly, and then get your own life in order.

  9. Carol Crabtree

    Good job man. It's funny Dr. Cantor said vigilantism never works, well, it never works because the cops shut it down. Maybe it DOES work if it's allowed to continue.

  10. Mark Gaboury

    Notice that most of the culprits are of middle-eastern or east Indian ethnicity. That doctor is suspiciously pro-pedophile, and his body language gives him away. No surprise at all that he is gay.

  11. Anthony sciuto

    so far in the history of humans, vigilantism has a poor rate of sucsess, hunting witchs, gays all it will do is drive the need in the shadows, where we learn nothing of who, why or how to do anything, in fact, what about the countless times they pretend and entice someone that decides to just hang-up and push themselves on to a daughter, are they not somewhat to blame.

  12. Marie

    Interesting that the Dr. Cantor did not mention the success rate to cure a pedophile; it is less than 3%. I applaud these guys for what they are doing and the police should be backing them up!

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