Calgary

Human trafficking charge laid against Toronto man by Calgary police

Calgary police say they have charged a 32-year-old Toronto man with human trafficking, alleging he forced his girlfriend into the sex trade.

Man allegedly advertised sexual meet-ups with woman and funnelled customers' money to himself

Calgary police say a woman was moved across Canada over a period of years and coerced to work in the sex trade in various cities. (David Bell/CBC)

Calgary police say they have charged a 32-year-old Toronto man with human trafficking, alleging he forced his girlfriend into the sex trade.

The victim met the man in 2013 in Toronto, police said, and they began a relationship shortly afterward. 

"The relationship allegedly turned abusive and she became dependent on him for financial support, medical assistance and housing," police said in a release.

"Her boyfriend allegedly arranged for her to travel to Edmonton in 2014 where she was expected to work in the sex trade and send any money she made back to him."

Over the ensuing two years, police said the the woman was moved across Canada to continue working in the sex trade.

"The man would allegedly advertise her services online and arrange meet ups with customers, then funnel money electronically into his own bank account leaving the victim with very little resources to support herself," police said.

"Investigators believe the victim was cut off from friends and family, and denied routine medical treatment which ultimately led to her hospitalization on a number of occasions."

Calgary police encountered the 30-year-old woman in early June 2016, and she told them she was being coerced into the sex trade work.

Calgary police then began a cross-country search for the the suspect, eventually locating and arresting him in London, Ont., on Sept. 20 with help from the Toronto Police Service.

The man was returned to Calgary to face numerous charges, which were announced Thursday.

Calgary police provided the woman with help through their Prostitution Exit Initiative and said she has decided to leave the sex trade.