“STOP THE STEAL” PARTICIPANT WHO HOSTED HATE GROUP’S “ANTI-CHILD TRAFFICKING” EVENT CHARGED WITH SEXUALLY ABUSING MINORS
January 31, 2023 by ABNER HÄUGE
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A Santee man whose antique car restoration business hosted a hate rally in June 2021 is now facing 15 felony charges including sexual intercourse with a minor. 43-year-old Joshua James Cantor of Evolve Custom Automotive Restoration also faces a civil lawsuit from one of the victims, who is now 17. The civil suit accuses him of grooming her starting in 2020. His youngest victim, according to records obtained by CBS-8, was 11.
According to court documents, “Cantor bragged about a ‘secret room’ he had at his workshop where he had sex.”
That same workshop hosted “Growing Thorns Vendor Fair and Community Event” on June 26th, 2021. It was a benefit for “THORN Children’s Digital Defense Against Child Trafficking.” THORN was started by actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and works to prevent children being preyed upon online.
THORN did not respond to LCRW’s request for comment at press time.
The 2021 event was sponsored by “East County Small Business Support” and a violent San Diego group called Exiled Patriots. Exiled Patriots splintered from another San Diego hate group, Defend East County. LCRW documented links between Defend East County, Exiled Patriots, white supremacist gangs like the Peckerwoods and a terror cell called Shadow Moses in 2021. Exiled Patriot members were part of a group that attacked protestors in 2021 in El Cajon at a pro-Palestine march.
When local antifascists pointed out that he’d worked with an accused child molester, Exiled Patriots leader Mike Forzano first bragged about raising “about $4000 that day for thorn.”
“We had no idea he was a piece of shit pedophile! We were offered the location for free!” Forzano then said.
“Offered the location for free so this dude could creep on your kids,” the San Diego Against Fash account replied, adding, “You’ve got a great vetting process.”
“He offered his police [sic] to a lot of people! Yeah, he was vetted back in 2020!” Forzano replied.
Forzano himself pleaded guilty to one count each of battery of a current or former significant other, battery and vandalism over $400 in 2008.
Exiled Patriots’ latest endeavor was participating alongside neo-Nazis earlier this month in a harassment campaign against a Santee YMCA which let trans people use the facilities.
Cantor also lead a “Stop the Steal” caravan to DC in November 2020. He went to DC with the group “Caravan for Truth.”
“This is a peaceful, non-militant way to have our voice heard for the truth and integrity,” Cantor told KUSI News’s Paul Rudy at the time.
“We wish you a safe journey. As long as everything is peaceful and civil, I think a lot of folks can get behind it—and you look to be exactly that kind of person,” Rudy told Cantor.
LCRW has not yet confirmed whether Cantor was present during the January 6th 2021 Capitol Riot.
Abner Häuge (they/them) is a journalist and you can’t say they’re not because they got a Master’s from UC Berkeley’s Journalism School. After better journalist @desertborder texted them a hilarious screenshot of a Fox News segment, they spent all night memeing ‘ATTACK AND DETHRONE GOD’ and it became their catchphrase. You can usually find them in the bisexual aisle of the supermarket stocking up on Pocari Sweat for the boog.
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