SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2015 ONCA 588, Mr. A, a 16-year-old boy, convinced a 16-year-old girl he met at a park, Ms. S, to dance at a strip club for money, traveling to several cities to do so. He kept all of the money she was paid, including money she received from one customer for sex and another for a lap dance after Mr. A encouraged her to provide those sexual services. He monitored her earnings and actions through daily text message. Mr. A physically abused the girl on various occasions, drawing blood on one occasion. Ms. S eventually texted the police about her exploitation.
In Youth Court, Mr. A was acquitted of trafficking a minor, receiving material benefit from trafficking a minor, and living on the avails of prostitution, but convicted of other offences. The Crown appealed the acquittals. At the Court of Appeal, the acquittals on trafficking and receiving material benefits from trafficking a minor were set aside and a new trial was ordered. The court held that the trial judge had mistakenly applied the wrong legal standard looking to Ms. S’s subjective understanding of her exploitation, rather than looking at the facts to objectively to determine whether she was exploited. Text and Facebook messages provided evidence that would suggest she may have been exploited, among other evidence. The trial judge also mistakenly determined that one act of providing sexual services for money was not enough to make her a prostitute when determining if Mr. A was living on the avails of prostitution.
Criminal Offence(s): Human Trafficking and Advertising Sexual Services