POLITICS

Nine arrested, one still sought in national human trafficking ring

04/22/2015 12:11 EDT | Updated 07/17/2015 06:59 EDT
TORONTO - Nine people have been charged and another is sought in a national human trafficking ring that Toronto police allege saw gang members romance teen girls and women to lure them into prostitution.

Police say the victims are between 15 and 33 years old and come from Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta.

Toronto police Insp. Joanna Beaven-Desjardins says they were recruited from dance clubs, group homes and schools as well as online.

She says members of the Complex Grip Gangsters would romance the victims by showering them with attention and gifts and then slowly manipulate the victims into thinking prostitution was glamorous and lucrative."

The inspector says the victims would have between 10 and 15 clients per day and were beaten if they didn't bring in enough money.

The nine accused — six men and three women between the ages of 18 and 32 — face 61 human trafficking and drug-related charges between them.

Police say another suspect is still at large.

Investigators also announced arrests in two other human trafficking investigations.

In another case, a 19-year-old woman is accused of forcing a 17-year-old girl into the sex trade over three months, forcing her to turn over the money she earned and threatening her family when the girl attempted to break free.

Camille Beausejour is charged with trafficking a person under 18, procuring a person under 18, uttering threats and criminal harassment.

A 20-year-old man has also been arrested after police allege he forced a 17-year-old girl to perform sex work and hand over her earnings for 16 months.

Jemaal Wilson faces seven charges, including trafficking a person under 18, reaping material benefit from someone under 18, withholding or destroying documents, exercising control of a person for prostitution and assault.