Human trafficking arrests made in Windsor
2 Oshawa men charged with trafficking after woman allegedly forced into sex trade
Police in Windsor, Ont., have laid human trafficking charges for the first time in that city.
Two Oshawa men are accused of trafficking. One also faces a charge of exploitation.
In March, an 18-year-old woman reported to police she had been enticed into dancing at an adult entertainment club in Windsor, then forced into prostitution in Toronto.
"She was brought into a life of prostitution," Windsor police Supt. John St. Louis claims. "Generally speaking, human trafficking is a crime that offenders target vulnerable young women."
Police said human trafficking charges are rare because victims are reluctant to come forward.
St. Louis said the Windsor police morality arrested the two men under human trafficking legislation, making it the first time the legislation has been used locally.
"It is significant in the fact they were able to use legislation in the way it was designed and the way it was intended," he said. "Hopefully as a result we'll be better prepared to assist more victims in the future."
Human trafficking was added to the criminal code in 2005.
Shelly Gilbert, chair of WeFight, an anti-human trafficking group, said there are many reasons victims don't come forward.
"They may be fearful of law enforcement for various reasons, there's threats against them, threats against family members," Gilbert said. "They may be afraid if they have very precarious immigration status here."
Gilbert said many in the community don't believe human trafficking exists. However, she said the recent arrests show that local police are committed to dealing with what she said is a very real situation.
Police revealed few details about the case, but said that the victim was getting help. Police hope by making the arrests and making the case public, others in similar situations will have the courage to come forward.
Jerome Barron Dorsey, 25, of Oshawa, is charged with trafficking in persons.
Merrick Anthony Dennis, 27, of Oshawa, is charged with trafficking in persons and exploitation.