Children Rescued in Ontario Operation Northern Spotlight’s Fight Against Human Trafficking

GEO CASUALJoy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan/St. Paul, Ontario tweeted the success of Operation Northern Spotlight. Below is the Toronto Police Department’s press release:

“On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, and Thursday, June 18, 2015, as part of Operation Northern Spotlight, members of the Toronto Police Service and 20 other police services pre-arranged to meet with people suspected of partaking in the sex trade, potentially against their will, at urban locations across Ontario.

During the coordinated investigations over the two-day period, police charged two people with 41 offences. Police were also able to ensure the safety of six females who had been working in the sex trade as a minor or against their will, including one 14-year-old, three 15-year-olds, a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old.

Ninety officers and support staff combined to interview 122 people, including 110 women and offered them information and contacts with community-based support agencies.

Charges have been laid by police following this third installment of a coordinated, provincial investigation to suppress human trafficking, they include:

1. Trafficking in Persons under 18 years
2. Trafficking in Persons
3. Financial / Material Benefit from Trafficking in Person Under 18 years
4. Material Benefit from Sexual Services provided by Person under 18 years
5. Procuring / Recruit Person under 18 to provide Sexual Services
6. Procuring / Person under 18 years
7. Advertising another person’s Sexual Services
8. Administer Noxious Substance
9. Sexual Assault
10. Sexual Interference with a Person under 16 years of age
11. Invitation to Sexual Touching under 16 years of age
12. Print / Publish / Possess to publish Child Pornography
13. Import / Sell / Distribute Child Pornography
14. Unlawfully Possess Child Pornography

During the initiative, Durham Regional Police Service conducted an intelligence probe with a 14-year-old girl in their jurisdiction for a possible intervention. Officers spoke with the girl, and she disclosed that she was allegedly being forced into the sex trade by a man.

Further investigation identified the man as Levi Alexander, 19, of Toronto. Alexander is currently wanted on a Canada Wide Warrant for Human Trafficking charges by the Toronto Police Service in relation to the last Human Trafficking investigation – Project Guardian, where he allegedly forced a 16-year-old girl into the sex trade. Police are concerned that this man will victimize young girls and are appealing to the public for their assistance in apprehending him.

The following police services participated in this phase of Operation Northern Spotlight:

• Barrie Police Service
• Brantford Police Service
• Durham Region Police Service
• Greater Sudbury Police Service
• Guelph Police Service
• Halton Regional Police Service
• Hamilton Police Service
• North Bay Police Service
• Ontario Provincial Police
• Ottawa Police Service
• Peel Regional Police
• Royal Canadian Mounted Police
• Sarnia Police Services
• Saugeen Shores Police Service
• Stratford Police Service
• Thunder Bay Police Service
• Toronto Police Service
• Treaty Three Police Service
• Waterloo Regional Police Service
• Windsor Police Service
• Woodstock Police Service

Human Trafficking is a local, provincial and national problem that affects the most vulnerable in society. Operation Northern Spotlight demonstrates the need to work together with other Police Services and community partners to effectively investigate these heinous crimes.

Police would like to encourage all affected individuals to come forward and report Human Trafficking occurrences to police. We want to make sure that everyone has access to support services and an exit strategy, regardless of their decision to proceed criminally.

Human Trafficking means every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation, for a sexual purpose or a forced labour purpose. Victims can be men, women or children; can be Canadian citizens; and can be moved across local, provincial or national borders. They can be coerced through violence or the threat of violence against family and friends. The Human Trafficking Enforcement Team of Sex Crimes is dedicated to investigating these crimes against vulnerable members of society. For more information, please visit the Sex Crimes website.”

Lawdiva aka Georgialee

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