Prosecutors in Winnipeg are seeking a 21-year prison sentence for a child sex predator who continued to exploit his vulnerable victims while in custody awaiting sentencing.

Kevin Rose, 44, has pleaded guilty to 19 offences involving five girls between the ages of 13 and 17 and a 22-year-old woman. The offences include multiple counts of procuring for a sexual purpose, permitting prostitution in his home, voyeurism, making child pornography and internet luring.

Court heard all five teen victims — one of whom has since committed suicide — were Indigenous, had been in the care of  Child and Family Services and had been chronic runaways. Four of the five had involvement in the youth justice system.

"They were easy prey," Crown attorney Katie Dojack told court on Tuesday. Rose, she said, "was prepared to risk the lives of vulnerable girls and women to satisfy whatever his desires might have been."

Rose, who also continued to run a duct-cleaning business while in pre-sentence custody, targeted many of his victims through Facebook, where he portrayed himself as being free with drugs, booze, and money.

He came to police attention in November 2014 after the mother of a friend of one of his young victims reported finding "inappropriate" Facebook messages between Rose and the then 15-year-old victim. 

At the time, Rose was bound by a court order not to communicate with anybody under 16, following a 2011 conviction for possession of child pornography. 

Interviewed in custody at the Manitoba Youth Centre, the girl said she met Rose on Facebook and then two times in person for "trades" — sex for cash.

Targeted 13-year-old girl

Rose was in custody for breaching his no-contact order in January 2015 when police interviewed a second victim. The girl said Rose added her as a Facebook friend when she was 13. Rose told the girl he had drugs and alcohol if she wanted to visit him at his home and asked her if she "does tricks."

Another then 16-year-old victim told police Rose let her stay at his home and took pictures of her for online sex ads. Rose provided the girl with a cellphone and responded to texts from men seeking her sex services.

The girl reported seeing "lots of girls coming and going out of the house," Dojack said.

An adult victim met Rose after telling telling one of the youth victims she was interested in working as an escort. During the woman's lone visit to Rose's home in November 2014, Rose secretly recorded her and the youth having sex with a customer.

"She had no idea she was being recorded," Dojack said.

The youth in the video told police she met Rose when she was 13. When she was 15, Rose asked her if she would like to have sex with men for money. In a video of the discussion played for court, Rose is heard advising the girl to tell a man she is about to meet for sex at Rose's home that she is 16. 

Rose recorded the two having sex without their knowledge.

'He thought he was helping these girls': Defence

Later, after he had been arrested and taken into custody, Rose continued to arrange sexual encounters for the girl at his home and on one occasion had her leave the phone line open so he could listen in.

The girl killed herself in July 2016, just hours after meeting with justice officials to discuss the case against Rose. 

"No child should ever fall victim to sexual exploitation," the girl's social worker wrote in a victim impact statement provided to court, adding she "deserved so much more than this."

Listening to the Crown's case against him "was a real eye-opener," Rose said in a brief address to court. Rose said he thought all his victims had already been involved in prostitution and that his actions were "no big deal."

"I take full responsibility … for the poor decisions I have made," he said. "I clearly need programming and counselling."

Defence lawyer Pam Smith recommended Judge Dale Harvey sentence Rose to no more than 14 years in prison.

"To a certain extent, he thought he was helping these girls," Smith said. "They needed a place to stay, they needed money … in exchange he could get what he wanted from it.… He didn't intend the kind of harm he is now forced to appreciate."

Harvey will sentence Rose at a later date. 

Justice officials allege Rose continues to reoffend in custody. In a separate proceeding, Rose is before the court on similar sex-related charges and breaches for offences alleged to have been committed as recently as July.