SkyTrain station sexual exploitation ring shut down
Two men face charges of sexual assault, sexual interference and attempting to make child pornography
Two men are facing multiple charges after an investigation into an alleged sexual exploitation ring involving teenage girls at the New Westminster SkyTrain station, Transit Police announced on Friday.
According to police, Dominik Matthey Vendette, 26, and Thomas John Robert Gain, 20, recruited vulnerable young women, some as young as 14, promising them money, drugs and movie roles in exchange for sex.
Vendette faces eight charges, including sexual assault and attempting to make child pornography, and Gain faces two sex related charges.
Chris Preston of Pacific Community Resources, a non-profit that often works with at-risk teens in Metro Vancouver, says his group frequently sees vulnerable young people hanging out at transit hubs, and that the victims in this case were specifically targeted.
“There are obviously youth that are out on the SkyTrain that are very transient. We proactively seek out youth that might need a connection back to their community—youth that are either homeless or don’t have a great home situation,” said Preston.
The accused were arrested following an investigation launched in September, after an incident in which a Transit Police officer was forced to intervene in a confrontation between a young man and a 14-year-old girl on the platform at the New Westminster SkyTrain station.
Police know of at least two victims, both 14-year-old females, who were sexually exploited by Vendette and Gain. One of those young women is currently recovering from a sexual assault, while the other was recently hospitalized due to a drug overdose.
Investigators think there are other victims and are asking those individuals to come forward.
With files from the CBC's Bal Brach and Terry Donnelly