A Halifax woman has been sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of pimping girls on Monday.
Florence Muriel Young, 36, who faced more than 20 prostitution-related charges, pleaded guilty to five counts in provincial court. Three of the counts dealt with living off the avails of prostitution of minors.
"This case reflected a business that the accused was running out of her home, out of an apartment building. It involved three girls being recruited by the accused to provide their sexual services in exchange for money. Miss Young, the accused, reaped the benefits of recruiting those girls and exploiting them in this fashion. It's a serious offence," said prosecutor Carla Ball.
Young was arrested back in February and faced a list of charges including pimping young girls, online luring and sexual exploitation.
"The charges that we agreed for her to plead [guilty] to reflect the gravity of the offences and reflect the facts that support the elements of those offences," said Ball.
She said Young's agreement to plead spares the victims from testifying at a trial.
Young was sentenced to six years in custody, minus five months for time served.
More reports of young girls in the sex industry
Halifax Regional Police say they are getting more reports of young girls being lured into the sex trade.
“We also know that they are under the control most times of individual[s] … [who use] the threats of violence or whatnot,” said Const. Pierre Bourdages.
In cases where a child is rescued from a child prostitution ring, what then happens to the child depends on a number of factors, says the Department of Community Services.
"There would be many factors to consider, such as, whether or not the child had a home to return safely to, whether or not the child was willing to return home, whether or not the child was still considered at risk of further abuse, the circumstances that led to the child leaving the home, and the continued risk posed by external parties," said spokesperson Michelle Lucas in an email.
If warranted, a child protection investigation would be undertaken by one of Community Services's district offices and it would determine whether the child was in need of protective services, she said.
As well, the office might refer the child and their family to counselling.