Tina Fontaine spent weekend at suite now at centre of sex trafficking charges
Homicide victim Tina Fontaine’s cousin charged in sex trafficking case in Winnipeg
Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old girl who was killed in Winnipeg last summer, spent one of her last weekends alive at a home now at the centre of a sex trafficking case.
Fontaine's body was pulled from the Red River in August 2014. Winnipeg police are treating the girl's death as a homicide.
- Winnipeg girl, 17, trafficked for sex with up to 50 men, Crown alleges
- Tina Fontaine, 15, found in bag in Red River
- Tina Fontaine last seen leaving with man in West End, says friend
There have been no arrests or charges in the teen's death, but it sparked national outrage, renewed calls for a national inquiry into murdered and missing women and public outcry over Manitoba's Child and Family Services system. Fontaine was supposed to be in the care of CFS when she was killed.
Now, Tina's cousin, Jeanenne Fontaine, has been charged in a human trafficking case that has ties to an apartment Tina stayed at weeks before she was killed.
The details of the case were revealed in a Winnipeg courtroom on Wednesday.
The Crown alleges a 17-year-old girl was taken to a Furby Street apartment and forced into the sex trade.
Prosecutors said the girl was held against her will in two apartments in the building and forced to have sex with up to 50 men over the course of two weeks, while some of the accused hid in the bathroom of the apartment.
Three people are now facing charges of trafficking a person under the age of 18 — Jesse Clifford Thomas, Eric Jade Wirffel and Jeanenne Fontaine.
It's alleged the trafficking took place in Jeanenne Fontaine's apartment in the Furby building as well as her mom's suite, in the same building.
At the time of Tina's death, Jeanenne Fontaine's mother (Tina's aunt) told CBC News that Tina had stayed at her suite for a weekend in the weeks leading up to her disappearance and killing.
Winnipeg police said before Tina's death in August 2014 that she had run away from her foster home, and officers believed she was being sexually exploited.
"She's definitely been exploited and taken advantage of and murdered and put in the river," Winnipeg police Sgt. John O'Donovan said at the time.
In court on Thursday, Jeanenne Fontaine denied having any involvement in the sex trafficking case. A fourth accused, Clinton Wirffel, has not yet been arrested.
Jeanenne Fontaine is out on bail.