Minors arrested for human trafficking

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/06/11/minors-arrested-for-human-trafficking

Even seasoned cops are shocked by the crime.

Two 15-year-old girls are facing a slew of charges for allegedly forcing other girls, ages 13-17, into prostitution — a human-trafficking ring cops are calling the first of its kind in Canada.

“It’s shocking. It’s absolutely shocking,” said police Staff Sgt. John McGetrick.

“As a matter of fact, the RCMP couldn’t provide a similar case that they were aware of.”

Police are looking for a third suspect, a 17-year-old girl, whose identity they’ve confirmed.

The teens apparently threw parties, luring girls to a house in the 2400 block of Walkley Rd. three times between mid-May and early June.

They then forced the girls into prostitution by threatening them with assault, said McGetrick.

The victims were driven to other locations for the purpose of prostitution.

Residents at the Russell housing complex on Walkley Rd. were neither shocked nor surprised to hear of a teen prostitution ring in their own backyard.

“I’m not surprised,” said a neighbour who didn’t want to be named, “(but) it’s surreal.”

One of the teens arrested is a dropout and lives in a rowhouse with her family, according to neighbours.

Neighbours alleged one of the girls owned a website where she was “selling these girls off,” but police couldn’t be reached to confirm a website existed.

The other 15-year-old girl attends a local high school.

The student took to Facebook following her friend’s arrest.

“f— tha police yall bring us no peace!,” she wrote.

Another neighbour claimed to see older men driving the girls around.

The second girl was arrested Saturday.

Residents have an idea where the 17-year-old girl — who also lives in the complex — is hiding. They believe she’s in Montreal.

The teens’ identities are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The girls face charges of human trafficking, sexual assault, forcible confinement, abduction, robbery, procuring, assault, and uttering threats.

Police are looking for help.

“If there’s more (victims) out there, then we’d really like to hear from them and work with them,” McGetrick said.

Anyone with information can contact the sexual assault/child abuse section at 613-236-1222 ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS) or toll free at 1-800-222-8477.

— with files from Michael Aubry

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