Police in Gatineau, Que., have arrested the third suspect in a human trafficking case where three teenage girls are accused in the prostitution of three other teenage girls in Ottawa.
The youth, 16, was apprehended Thursday at about 8 p.m. in Gatineau and returned to Ottawa, police said.
She appeared in an Ottawa courtroom Friday afternoon on charges of human trafficking, procuring for prostitution, forcible confinement, robbery, assault and uttering threats. She was then remanded back into custody.
Her lawyer, Nicholas St. Pierre, said his client is shocked by the allegations she is facing.
"She is doing her best coping with the media attention she is getting from these charges," said St. Pierre.
Police had been searching for her for a week, a search they say was hampered because they could not release information about her due to provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Police had also originally said she was 17 years old.
Police said the three accused allegedly used social media to lure a trio of other girls, who are between 13 and 17 years old, to a home at a Walkley Road community housing project in southeast Ottawa. That is also where the accused live, neighbours said.
3 separate incidents
The teens are then accused of offering the victims to adult men for sex in three alleged incidents:
- Between May 16 to 19.
- May 30.
- June 3.
Police also said they believe the victims were drugged in one of the incidents. They continue to say the accused teenage girls acted alone without guidance from an adult.
The two other suspects, both 15, were arrested June 8 and 9 and face identical charges. They appeared in court earlier this week.
One 15-year-old was remanded into custody Wednesday until her bail hearing scheduled for Monday.
Teenagers whom CBC News spoke to have said they are more aware of who they associate with on Facebook since the prostitution ring was made public.