SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2017 ONCJ 145, the co-accused – a boyfriend, Mr. M, and girlfriend, Ms. F, in their mid-twenties – were jointly charged with six offences relating to the complainant, Ms. W, including: unlawfully recruiting and exercising control over the movements of the victim, receiving a financial or other material benefit from the commission of, and advertising sexual services. The boyfriend was also charged with breaching his probation order. Twenty-year old Ms. W communicated with Ms. F through Facebook and text messaging about acting as an escort. The co-accused advertised W’s sexual services on the website Backpage, including sexually suggestive identifying photos and contact information. Ms. W received responses to the ad on her cell phone and testified she feared for her safety, but was afraid to leave the situation after receiving excessive and harassing text messages from the co-accused. The co-accused told her to make money for them and threatened to hurt her if she didn’t give them all the money. The co-accused ultimately deprived Ms. W of use of her cell phone so they could solely be responsible for managing her services.
The co-accused were convicted of human trafficking, receiving financial benefit from trafficking, and procuring a person to facilitate sexual services for consideration, although the Court stated it was treating W’s testimony with caution because of inconsistencies with evidence from law enforcement interviews.
Criminal Offence(s): Human Trafficking and Advertising Sexual Services