17-year-old Toronto girl held on trafficking charges

trafficking-minIn March 2015, a 16-year-old student of St. Joseph’s College School was recruited by a 17-year-old former student and introduced to two men, who then befriended the 16-year-old. They told her that she could make a lot of money working for them.

The 17-year-old took photos of the 16-year-old girl  in variouss stages of  undress and posted them on backpage.com, advertising sexual services. The men controlled her through intimidation and threats and the 16-year-old was forced to work as a sex trade worker for them, Toronto police said in a release.

In April this year, the Specialized Criminal Investigations unit started a probe into the alleged Human Trafficking case.

It is alleged that the 16-year-old was taken by the men to various hotels in Toronto, forced to have sex with clients, then turn over all the money to the men. The men  also sexually assaulted the 16-year-old.

On Friday, May 6, the 17-year-old girl of Toronto, who cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was arrested by the Human Trafficking Enforcement Team. She is charged with:

1) Procuring Person Under 18 years
2) Advertising Another Person’s Sexual Services
3) Possession of Child Pornography
4) Make Child Pornography
5) Distribute Child Pornography

Police believe there may be other victims.  Police would like to encourage all affected individuals to come forward and report Human Trafficking occurrences to police. The police said they want to make sure that everyone has access to support services and an exit strategy, regardless of their decision to proceed criminally.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

Human Trafficking means every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation, for a sexual purpose or a forced labour purpose. Victims can be men, women or children; can be Canadian citizens; and can be moved across local, provincial or national borders. They can be coerced through violence or the threat of violence against family and friends. The Human Trafficking Enforcement Team of Sex Crimes is dedicated to investigating these crimes against vulnerable members of society. For more information, please visit the Sex Crimes website. – CINEWS

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