A total of 15 search warrants were executed and 60 electronic devices seized as part of Project Iceberg, Niagara police announced Wednesday.
A Niagara, Ontario-region woman is facing 36 charges stemming from allegations that she sexually assaulted both of her children with a weapon, made them available to be sexually abused by others and was involved in the production of child pornography.
One of the children allegedly abused was only four years old, police say.
Niagara police announced the charges Wednesday as part of Project Iceberg, a wider child abuse/internet child exploitation investigation that rescued six children from sexual abuse.
Niagara police also charged five men in connection with the investigation.
Police are not releasing the names of the accused to protect the identity of the victims.
Detectives began their investigation after a 38-year-old Niagara man was stabbed in November 2015. At the time, a 29-year-old man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
As detectives investigated the incident, they discovered allegations of sexual assault involving young children, police say.
The six children, between the ages of four and 17, were removed from their homes and placed in the custody of child protective services.
Evidence also implicated the Niagara woman, 33, in the original assault investigation, police say, and so she is also facing charges of attempted murder.
The 29-year-old man who was originally charged with aggravated assault also had his charges upgraded to attempted murder.
Police did not elaborate on the circumstances that led to the stabbing, citing a need to protect information for upcoming trials. Police say the man has been released on bail with several conditions.
Four other men were also arrested:
A 27-year-old man is facing 11 charges, including sexual assault with a weapon against a female under the age of 16 and child porn offences. He is in custody.
A 38-year-old Niagara man is facing nine charges, including sexual assault of two women under the age of 16. He was also the victim of the stabbing and is out on bail with several conditions.
A 35-year-old Toronto man is facing 12 charges, including sexual assault offences against a female victim under 16 years old and child pornography offences involving two victims. He is in custody.
A 34-year-old Niagara man is facing eight charges, including sexual assault of a female under 16 years old and child pornography offences. He is in custody.
Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada