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CAS Ward Forced into Prostitution
August 24, 2013 permalink
Jamie Byron has been convicted for forcing a CAS ward into prostitution and confiscating all her earnings except for loose change.
Montreal man convicted in Ottawa’s first human trafficking case
OTTAWA — A 23-year-old Montreal man was convicted Wednesday of luring a teenaged girl from her home in Windsor and forcing her to sell her body to more than 100 men during the summer of 2011 in a handful of cities, including Ottawa.
It’s the first human trafficking case in Ottawa since that charge was added to the Criminal Code in 2005.
Jamie Byron used threats, intimidation and violence to “force her to conform to his wishes,” Justice Bonnie Warkentin ruled. He “managed and controlled” the girl and “forced her to turn over the money,” she said.
Byron was found guilty of nine charges, including human trafficking, assault and living off the avails of a prostitute under the age of 18.
Byron had only communicated with the 17-year-old girl via text message when he bought her a train ticket to meet him in Montreal under the guise of romance, court heard during the trial in May.
The girl testified that she was put to work immediately. Over the course of two months, she was forced to sell her body in hotel rooms in Montreal, Toronto, Barrie and Ottawa.
An Ottawa detective posing as a john rescued her from a downtown hotel room. The girl told police she was a “change whore” because Byron took all her bills.
Byron testified during the trial that he was in “somewhat of a relationship” with the girl but denied he ever took her money.
A Facebook message from the girl to Byron told a much different story.
“You’re only around when there’s money,” she wrote.
She told police Byron burned her birth certificate and stole her health card to control her.
Byron would head-butt and slap her and pull her hair, she said.
“He’s not a human being. He’s an animal,” she told police.
Byron admitted under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Julien Lalande that he lied at least 25 times during his initial police interview.
Detectives traced cellphones, acquired hotel records and copied online prostitution ads to build their case.
When confronted in court with screen shots of the scantily clad girl in prostitution ads, Byron admitted his phone number was listed as the contact number. He also admitted he made daily cash payments to rent hotel rooms for the girl.
A pre-sentence report was ordered before sentencing. The charge of human trafficking under 18 with the use of violence comes with a mandatory five-year minimum in prison.
Byron is facing an outstanding robbery charge in Montreal.
Source: Ottawa Citizen