A 23-year-old Montreal man accused of offering up a 17-year-old girl for sex with multiple clients pleaded not guilty in an Ottawa courtroom Monday morning.
Jamie Byron was arrested by Ottawa police in October 2011 on several charges, including living off the avails of juvenile prostitution, assault, keeping a common bawdy house and attempting to flee police.
He pleaded not guilty Monday to nine charges in total.
The alleged victim is cannot be named because of there is a publication ban on her identity.
In his opening statement, Crown prosecutor Julien Lalonde told the court Byron lured the girl into prostitution after meeting her on Facebook.
Lalonde said Byron pretended to want a relationship with the Windsor, Ont., girl and paid for a train ticket for her to come to Toronto. Lalonde said a friend of Byron's then picked her up in Toronto and drove her to Montreal to meet him.
When she arrived, court heard, Byron began to sell her into prostitution. Lalonde alleged that when the girl resisted, Byron beat her.
Lalonde told court Byron took the girl between Montreal, Ottawa, Barrie and Toronto for two months — July 7 to Aug. 30, 2011 — and advertised her on Backpage.com, a free classifieds website.
The girl told police she had been offered up for sex with men more than 100 times, Lalonde told court, sometimes without protection.
Lalonde said that to stop her from escaping after she made two attempts to do so, Byron allegedly destroyed her health card and birth certificate.
She was only able to escape when an undercover Ottawa police detective posing as a john found her in a hotel room.
Among the Crown witnesses expected to testify in the trial are alleged johns, hotel managers and other Ottawa escorts who met the girl.
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