2011 ONSC 195

In 2011 ONSC 195, a 25-year-old man, was charged with human trafficking offences related to two different women. Mr. J, met Ms. S, who was 17, on Facebook. Ms. S alleged that she messaged and texted with Mr. J and his girlfriend, Ms. M, about moving to the city to model and dance in strip clubs. MS. J came to the city and stayed with the couple. She alleged that she felt that Ms. M controlled her and kept all of the money Ms. S earned. Ms. S left after two weeks. Mr. J alleged that he never asked Ms. S to come and stay with him and thought that she was a friend of his girlfriend who was coming to stay, however, he did drive her to buy outfits for stripping and helped her obtain a fake ID. The court held that Ms. M had been the main per-son in communication with Ms. S and that Mr. J did not coerce her into stripping.

Two years later a second woman, Ms. A, who was 19, also moved to the city to work as a dancer at a strip club, she was introduced to Mr. J and she planned to rent his apartment. She alleged that she moved into the apartment and Mr. J who she gave all of her earnings and was expected to work under his rules. Mr. J said he met Ms. A and drove her to the strip club on occasions. He claimed that she gave him the money she earned to pay for rent in the apartment. There was inconsistent evidence about whether Ms. A moved out or was kicked out of the apartment by Mr. J. The court held that during the one week that Ms. A stayed at the apartment, she was acting in her own accord and was not exploited by Mr. J.

The court held that both Ms. S and Ms. A had inconsistencies in their testimony, and the fact that Mr. J was a small man suggested that he could not pose a serious threat to the young women, nor did he live a lifestyle beyond the means of a person operating a small entertainment business, as he did. The court stated, “[i]n any event, tricking or stealing money from exotic dancers is not necessarily the same as criminal exploitation or the commission of prostitution-related crimes.”[1] Mr. J was acquitted on all counts.

[1] 2011 ONSC 195 at 171.


Criminal Offence(s): Human Trafficking and Advertising Sexual Services