Winnipeg spa owner faces human trafficking charges in extortion case
Simple Mehta of Simi Magic Spa scheduled to appear in court Friday
A Winnipeg beauty spa owner who has already been charged with extortion now faces human trafficking charges as well.
Simple Mehta, 39, will appear in court Friday on three new charges — one count each of trafficking in persons, receiving a financial or other material benefit from trafficking, and procuring a person to offer or provide sexual services.
Mehta, the owner of Simi Magic Spa on St. Anne's Road, was charged earlier this week with extortion, procuring and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence after a man alleged he was sexually assaulted, videotaped and threatened with the footage.
Spa employee Pam Sandu, 22, has been charged with extortion, voyeurism, sexual assault and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Police say a 29-year-old man, who was in a business relationship with Mehta, went to the spa on a business matter and was offered a massage by an employee while he waited for Mehta.
Once he had prepared himself for the massage, the man was sexually assaulted and discovered he was being videotaped with a cellphone, police said.
The man then faced a threat of having the video recording released if he did not pay a sum of money, according to police, who added that the man handed over "thousands" of dollars before going to police.
On Monday, Winnipeg police spokesperson Const. Rob Carver said police believe the man is likely not alone in being blackmailed in that way. Investigators are urging other victims to come forward.