Accused teen denies involvement in Ottawa prostitution ring
Warning: Story contains language that may offend some readers
One of three teenaged girls accused of forcing other teens into sex work told an Ottawa police officer in an interview after her arrest that she was not involved with a prostitution ring.
A video of her interview with police was shown in court Friday during the trial of three teenaged girls, two of them 16 years old and another 17 years old, who are accused of forcing other teens into prostitution. They are facing over 70 charges, including human trafficking, sexual assault and forcible confinement. The teens were arrested in June 2012.
None of the accused or victims can be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The video was viewed by the court as part of a voir dire, which is a hearing within a trial, held to determine if something can be presented as evidence.
On the video Det. Kelly Lyle, of Ottawa police's sex assault and child abuse unit, can be seen telling the teen that three girls had accused her of forcing them to have sex with men for money.
She told the female officer that she had met the complainants but denied that she helped force them into prostitution.
Teen denies involvement
The officer then read out the charges against the teen, who was 15 at the time but has since turned 16.
When Lyle mentioned the forcible confinement charge, the teen asked, "How do you forcibly confine someone?"
"These charges have nothing to do with me," she said. When the officer asked if she had heard all of the charges, she responded: "I heard what you said. It's bullshit."
The teen continued to swear and pulled the hood on her jacket over her head. "I'm allergic to false stuff," she told the officer.
Lyle told the teen she could call a lawyer, her mother, or another adult, but she refused.
Lyle asked if she wanted to tell her side of the story.
"No thank you," said the teen. "I'm tired and I want to go to sleep."
When the detective again suggested the teen call someone, she refused.
"What am I going to say, 'mom I'm in jail,'" she said. "I'm going to wait until you release me for something I didn't do."
Accused describes herself as 'humble soul'
The teen told Lyle that she wished she was in school.
"I want to be in business," she said, adding that she would like to open a bar, hotel or restaurant.
The detective asked if anyone had forced her to force other girls into prostitution.
"Sometimes girls have boyfriends who force them to do things," she replied, adding that she doesn't "deal with guys."
The accused described herself to the officer as a "humble soul."
"You'll never meet a humble soul like mine. I'm very poetic," she said. "The humble soul I am will never crumble."
At the end of the two-hour interview the detective and the teen shook hands.
Ken Hall, the teen's lawyer, is seeking a ruling from the judge on whether his client gave her statement voluntarily.
The Crown has said it will not use the recorded interview as evidence against the teen unless she testifies in her own defence. Right now it's not clear whether that will happen.
The judge-alone trial will resume in the fall.