Friday, January 8, 2010

Man arrested for Human Trafficking in Toronto

A Mississauga man awaiting trial for armed robbery is accused of forcing two young women to strip and prostitute in York Region’s second human trafficking case.

The case began unraveling in September when York vice cops were called about a 19-year-old woman who was allegedly forced to strip at a Mississauga club after arriving from Alberta.

Marlo Williams, 24, was charged with human trafficking and several other offences in the case, which involved allegations that the victim was forced to stay at a Mississauga condo between shifts as a dancer and that she was beaten and chocked when she tried to escape.

Investigators allege that after the woman finally escaped, she spent a night on the streets. She was in a vulnerable state when, the next day, she went to a youth centre where she was picked up by a man outside, police said.

She told the man what she had been through and in return she was told, “basically, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to protect you...We’re going to make you money to get you home,’” Det. Thai Truong alleged yesterday, a day after the man was charged with human trafficking. “All she wanted was to get home.”

Instead, police allege the man forced her, along with a 22-year-old woman, to strip and work as a prostitute in Toronto and Peel.

The older woman was allegedly lured in by the man under the guise that he loved her, Det.-Const. Stephen Yan said. She was allegedly assaulted and choked after refusing to hand over her earnings.

Randy "Snappa" Estick, 29, who was already in custody on armed robbery charges stemming from a Toronto incident in September, was charged Wednesday with several offences, including human trafficking, exercising control, forcible confinement and procuring a person to become a prostitute.

He is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 20.

The case represents a shift in approach for the York vice squad, which developed a reputation in recent years for busting women who work in massage parlours.

“The York vice squad is victim-focussed now,” Truong said. “We’re aggressively investigating pimps and the people responsible for forcing these girls into these situations.”

Anyone with information about Estick or similar cases is asked to contact the vice squad at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7640 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, by texting TIPYORK and your message to CRIMES.

Original Story from Toronto Sun

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