Ontario Criminal


Accused convicted of human trafficking offences

Accused was charged with nine counts including counts relating to human trafficking. Complainant C was 21-year old exotic dancer and escort who agreed to do escort work for accused so they could earn more money. After few days, accused told C that he would keep 100 per cent of proceeds, and his behaviour turned nasty. C claimed that accused beat her repeatedly, usually for not earning at least $800 per day, and that he made her work when she was sick or exhausted. Accused convicted of human trafficking offences. C exaggerated her evidence to increase perception that she was victim throughout relationship and that accused controlled all of her behaviour through violence and threat of violence, but much of her evidence was accepted. Accused soon started to exercise control over C by assaulting her or threatening to hurt her if she did not do as he said, making her believe that she made him react as he did, and making her financially dependent on him. C was not under accused’s complete control every moment, but on numerous occasions he exercised control over her and directed her actions. If C did not earn daily quota set by accused, she was beaten or told to earn more, even when she was exhausted or sick. Accused effectively controlled what C did to get her to continue working so she earn more money for him. C was compliant because she feared being beaten. Accused was guilty of trafficking, contrary to s. 279.01(1) of Criminal Code, through exercising control over C’s movements for purpose of exploiting her. Accused knew that money he received from C resulted from his exercising control over her movements for purpose of exploiting her as escort and dancer, and was fully aware that C worked as much as she did and handed over all of her earnings to him because she feared being beaten if she did not live up to his expectations. Accused was guilty of receiving material benefit from trafficking, contrary to s. 279.02(1) of Code. Accused withheld C’s SIN card as form of control over her to ensure that she returned to him with her birth certificate and continued to earn money for him through dancing and escorting. Accused was also guilty of withholding documents to facilitate trafficking, contrary to s. 279.03.

R. v. S. (R.R.) (Dec. 18, 2015, Ont. S.C.J., Aitken J., 13-A12648) 127 W.C.B. (2d) 541.

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