Author Topic: Human Trafficking Charge in Hamilton fo Mississauga Woman June 2011  (Read 1562 times)

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Human trafficking charges laid
By ROB LAMBERTI, QMI AGENCY
Posted 12 hours ago
TORONTO -- A Mississauga woman has been charged with human trafficking after police were tipped off about two exotic dancers who vanished from the dance circuit.

Vice squad officers in Hamilton also arrested a man and are seeking another alleged to have taken part in a gang sexual assault of one of the victims.

Detectives were alerted about the two victims, both in their 20s, in April by their former employer who operates a strip club in Hamilton.

Police later discovered the victims were threatened with bodily harm and with death.

Sgt. Terri-Lynn Collins said the unit has been reaching out to dancers and club owners since the start of the year in a bid to build bridges between police and women in the adult dance business.

On April 5, police were told about the two women who were recruited by "these individuals" about two months earlier, she said.

Typically, victims are enticed by either money or emotion by traffickers, "and once that happens, once they have them, they exploit them, have them do things they normally wouldn't do," Collins said.

One of the recruited women was twice a victim of gang sexual assault. Collins said the victims worked at the same strip club and their former employer "brought it to our attention."

"That employer was concerned for the well-being of these two women. The women who were victims were working here in the entertainment industry and they were recruited (in Hamilton) to go elsewhere."

Part of the allegations include their earnings going to the suspect.

"That's a component of human trafficking," Collins said. "I can't say if it was all of their money. I don't have that information."

She said police are reaching out to people in the sex trade because "they can be preyed upon, become victims and exploited."

Police arrested Latoya Whittingham, 25, on June 10 with human trafficking, extortion, intimidation, sexual assault, theft over $5,000, theft under $5,000, criminal harassment and two counts each of party to gang sexual assault, overcome resistance to commission of an offence, threatening death and threatening bodily harm.

She remains in custody following a bail hearing.

Jeremy Baharry, 25, surrendered to Hamilton police on Wednesday and was served with a warrant charging him with sexual assault and party of the offence of sexual assault.

A third suspect is being sought and detectives need help in identifying him.

He is described as black, about six feet tall with a heavy build, has a shaved head and a scruffy beard. He is known as Jeff or Jeffery and is an associate of Whittingham, police said.

http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3174738