Reza Moazami, convicted of luring 11 teens into prostitution and sentenced to 23 years jail time is suing the Attorney General of Canada — claiming he was wrongfully denied kosher meals in prison.
Moazami was found guilty on 30 charges in 2015, including sexual exploitation, sexual assault and living off the avails of prostitution.
His 11 victims ranged in age from 14 to 19, and his case was the first human-trafficking conviction in the province.
Recruited vulnerable girls
At trial, court heard Moazami, then in his mid-20s, recruited vulnerable girls by promising them drugs, alcohol and — in one instance — a puppy.
A B.C. Supreme Court notice of claim filed by Moazami states he was denied a kosher diet for approximately nine months due to negligence on the part of correctional staff.
The claim states Moazami is half Jewish and strictly abides by his religious principles — those that conform with Jewish dietary law.
Claims discrimination by correctional staff
Moazami also claims he was discriminated against by correctional staff for being denied medications, and because his mail was illegally read and seized.
Moazami is a federal inmate at the Mountain Institution in Agassiz, B.C.
In a statement, Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), spokesperson Lyndsay Hollaway said inmates are provided appropriate diets to meet their faith requirements by the "commissioner's directive 880."
"The (CSC) is obligated to assist inmates to live out their faith practices in an authentic manner, as closely as possible to how the community practises the faith," wrote Holloway.
Moazami's notice of claim seeks $250,000 in relief from the Attorney General of Canada for negligence and breached duty of care.
In a statement, Department of Justice Canada spokesperson Lyse Cantin said the Attorney General's office has yet to file a response to Moazami's lawsuit.
With files from Matt Meuse