Alleged teen prostitution victim breaks down in court
Warning: Story contains graphic details that may offend some readers
At the trial of three teenaged girls accused of forcing other teens into prostitution, a defence lawyer accused an Ottawa woman of willingly working as a prostitute because of the money she could earn.
The 18-year-old woman had testified previously that she was pimped out to two men in one night by two of three girls on trial accused of running a prostitution ring.
The woman, who was 17 at the time of the alleged incidents, was in the witness box for a second day Tuesday.
The three accused girls are all represented by different lawyers, so the woman faced a barrage of questions from defence lawyers Tuesday.
A video of her interview with police was shown in court Monday morning, followed by her testimony as a Crown witness and cross-examination by Trevor Brown, a lawyer for one of the accused.
The woman had told police she met the accused girls through Facebook. She testified they used many different names and claimed to be cousins from Germany.
Naked photos distributed to 'johns,' girl tells court
In the police interview, the woman said she ended up having naked photos taken of her by the accused. She said one of the girls slapped her and threatened to make her life a "living hell" if she didn't do what the men requested.
The accused then allegedly asked her if she was willing to be a stripper or escort, before sending a naked photo to one man, she said.
Soon after, a man in his 30s, who received the naked photo, picked her up and forced her to perform oral sex and to have unprotected sex with him, the court was told. The woman said she refused to perform other types of sex acts the man requested.
The man, who has been charged with sexual assault related to the alleged incident, then paid her $180 instead of a promised $300.
The woman told police she was sent to a second man in his "50s or 60s" to ensure she made $300. She said the accused told her to change her clothes and put on more makeup for that man.
The woman said the second "john" gave her $20 for cab fare, clothes and a chocolate bar after she complained to him. But during cross-examination Tuesday, Brown asked the woman why she didn't call 911 or contact her parents.
She said the man told her not to call police and she didn't think her parents could be reached, so she tried to contact a friend on Facebook. She also testified Monday she did not have a cellphone to call for help.
Brown suggested the woman went with the "johns" willingly, pointing out that she changed into a pink bikini top and gold leggings in the first man's car, while he got out to withdraw money from a bank machine.
Marijuana affected memory
On Monday, Brown pushed the woman to explain why she didn't run away if she didn't want to be with the men. She replied that she feared the accused and the men could hurt her.
Brown asked the woman Tuesday if she expected money for sex acts, and she said the accused offered to pay for a manicure.
"I didn't care if I made money, I just wanted to leave," she testified.
She did admit marijuana allegedly given to her by the accused affected her memory of the night's events.
Alleged victim breaks down in court
Defence lawyer Ken Hall, who represents one of the accused, said the woman's account of the events when she went with the first "john" was very different to what the man told police.
The man described picking up a teen who was laughing and smiling, dressed in a black dress like she was ready to go "clubbing."
The woman responded that she wasn't smiling and said she was scared not to go with the man because of threats from two of the accused.
Hall suggested the woman actually had initiated contact with the two co-accused because she'd heard they were making money escorting and wanted in on that, and also wanted to "walk on the wild side."
The woman responded that his suggestions were wrong.
The woman is one of seven complainants involved in the trial of three girls — two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old — who face 74 charges including human trafficking, forcible confinement and procuring for prostitution. They were arrested in June.
Police allege the three girls used social media to befriend and lure nine girls, aged 13 to 17, to a home at a housing complex in southeast Ottawa.
None of the accused or the nine victims can be named due to provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The Crown also alleges there are two victims that are not part of the trial. A fourth teen girl faces similar charges involving one incident, but her trial will be held at a later date.