2013 QCCA 46

In 2013 QCCA 46, Mr. U appealed his guilty convictions of human trafficking, sexual assault, harassment, threats, and assault, among other things.

Mr. U argued that there was a miscarriage of justice because his victim was allowed to testify outside of the courtroom, the convictions were not based on evidence, and that trafficking requires forced movement, not just forced labour.

Mr. U, a 25-year-old man, convinced an 18-year-old woman to dance at a strip club so he could keep the earnings. He gave her gifts and drugs, but also physically abused her and intimidated her, including by threatening to kill her, beating her with a belt, and tasering her head. He kept all of her earnings. Mr. U took her cell phone and said that she belonged to him and he could do anything he wanted with her.  Mr. U had photographs on his phone allegedly taken for the purposes of prostitution.

The court held that the trial judge properly allowed the victim to testify outside of the courtroom due to the difficulty she had testifying in the presence of Mr. U and the fact that the complainant suffers from post-traumatic stress, among other reasons. The court deferred to the trial judge’s assessment of credibility and noted that the trial judge gave lengthy reasons for his decision. The trial judge also held that there does not need to be any movement of persons for a trafficking offence to have been committed; exercising control over them to exploit them is sufficient.

Also see: 2011 QCCA 265 (Requête pour permission d’appeler du verdict de culpabilité); 2010 QCCA 2222 (Requête pour prorogation du délai d’appel); 2010 QCCA 1657 (Requête pour prorogation du délai d’appel); 2010 QCCQ 4475 (Requête)

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