A 23-year-old Montreal man accused of offering up a 17-year-old girl for sex with multiple clients told a court he was simply acting as her driver and never forced the girl to prostitute herself.
Jamie Byron has pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including living off the avails of juvenile prostitution, assault, keeping a common bawdy house and attempting to flee police.
Testifying in his own defence on Thursday, Byron emphatically said he never told the alleged teen victim to prostitute herself.
"It's not my decision what she wants to do." he told the court.
Byron described himself as a driver to several escorts who travelled between Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal.
However, he admitted to booking the hotel rooms where the girl had sex with clients.
Byron, who didn't have a job, said she willingly gave him the money to pay for the rooms.
Ads soliciting clients used accused phone number
He also said he never posted any of the online ads featuring the teen that solicited clients. He said other adult escorts the teen was working with posted the ads.
However, under the Crown's cross-examination, Byron admitted that it was his cellphone number that was posted on many of the ads.
Previously the victim had testified Byron had offered her up to clients more than 100 times in a two-month period and that Byron took all her earnings.
She also claimed Byron beat her and destroyed her health card to prevent her from escaping.
The teenage girl, who cannot be named because there is a publication ban on her identity, is the main witness in the trial.
Byron was arrested after Det. Shane Henderson, operating on a tip, rescued the alleged victim from an Ottawa hotel in 2011.