British Columbia

Pimp alleging misconduct by former Vancouver police detective denied bail

Vancouver pimp Reza Moazami will not be released on bail while he waits for a chance to appeal his convictions based on alleged misconduct by a disgraced former detective.

Appeal Court judge says he's not satisfied Reza Moazami will refrain from re-offending

Reza Moazami was sentenced to 23 years in prison for running a teenage prostitution ring. A judge has denied his bid for bail while he appeals his convictions. (CBC)

Vancouver pimp Reza Moazami will not be released on bail while he waits for a chance to appeal his convictions based on alleged misconduct by a disgraced former detective.

On Thursday, the B.C. Court of Appeal rejected Moazami's bid to be released into the care of his mother while his appeals are underway.

"My decision rests on his failure to satisfy me he will refrain from committing further offences if released. In this connection, I am not satisfied Mr. Moazami's mother is capable of ensuring he does not engage in criminal activity," Justice David Frankel wrote.

Moazami was convicted in 2014 on 30 criminal counts for running an underage prostitution ring involving victims as young as 14.

The investigation into his operation was led by James Fisher, then a celebrated detective with the Vancouver Police Department.

But Fisher was sentenced to jail last year after pleading guilty to breach of trust and sexual exploitation for kissing two young victims of crime — including one who had been abused by Moazami.

New allegations against ex-cop

In a bombshell bail hearing last month, Moazami's lawyer alleged that Fisher had sexual contact with six of 11 victims and a key witness before, during and after Moazami's trial.

Defence lawyer Tom Arbogast alleged that Fisher interfered with the young women and girls in other ways as well, including giving them money on multiple occasions and encouraging them to lie in court.

Moazami is arguing that Fisher's action's interfered with his right to a fair trial.

At one time, Fisher was charged with crimes against four young women, but his guilty plea meant the Crown did not proceed with prosecuting the remaining offences. Because of that, the evidence related to two alleged victims has never been heard in court.

Former detective Jim Fisher pleaded guilty to offences against two young women. (Government of British Columbia)

In arguing for bail during the appeal process, Moazami said he would live with his mother and look for work or go to community college. He has spent the last nine years behind bars.

But as Frankel pointed out, Moazami has a history of breaking court orders. In fact, he was under court-ordered conditions to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for almost the entire time he ran his prostitution ring.

He has also breached bail conditions in the past while his mother was acting as his surety.

"Most troubling is the fact that Mr. Moazami operated his prostitution business from his mother's apartment while she was his surety. She was out of the country for part of that time, which made it impossible for her to monitor his compliance with his bail conditions," Frankel wrote.

He said that he wasn't convinced Moazami would be able to refrain from committing more crimes while out on bail.

Meanwhile, Moazami isn't the only person alleging that Fisher's misconduct was much more widespread than what was revealed during his trial.

The ex-cop is also the subject of civil lawsuits filed this week by two alleged victims of Moazami who say they were sexually abused by Fisher.

About the Author

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay is an experienced B.C. journalist with a focus on the courts, health, science and social justice issues. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.