Doreze Marvin Beals's human trafficking trial hears defence case

Doreze Marvin Beals is charged with human trafficking, gang sexual assault, kidnapping and other offences related to human trafficking.

Warning: this story contains graphic content

The trial of Doreze Marvin Beals, charged with human trafficking and sex assault of a 15-year-old girl in April 2014, resumes Friday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. (CBC)

The defence started mounting its case Monday in the human trafficking trial of Doreze Beals, 19, of North Preston, N.S.

Beals is accused of sexual assault, forcible confinement, human trafficking and other charges, which stem from an incident in North Preston in April of last year.

A 15-year-old girl accused Beals and another man of holding her against her will, sexually assaulting her and threatening to force her to work as a prostitute in Ontario.

Beals's co-accused, Andre Jerome Gray of North Preston, pleaded guilty last week to kidnapping and assaulting the girl and threatening to sell her into prostitution.

The girl was the first witness to testify at Beals's trial. When the trial resumed Monday morning, the first defence witness was Romeo Downey.

He told Nova Scotia Supreme Court that on the night in question, he gave the girl and two young men a ride in his van. Neither of the men was Beals, although Downey said he did see Beals that night.

Downey said when he heard media reports the next day, he called police because he felt the reports were incorrect. Downey didn't think Beals was involved in human trafficking.

Court tracks Beals's movements

The second defence witness was Tamara Tynes, who lives in North Preston. She said the 15-year-old girl was at her house one night in April to visit her two sons.

Tynes said she saw the girl on her doorstep the next afternoon with a group of young men, including Beals.

Tynes said she did not hear gunshots that night. The girl had testified earlier that she heard shots.

Tobin Simmonds took the stand as the defence's fifth witness. He knows Beals.

"We grew up together," he told the court.

He testified he heard of the complainant, but doesn't know her.

Simmonds saw Beals at 10 a.m. on April 10, 2014, at Beals's home. The two went to Simmonds's house and then a third place, where the complainant was.

The group made a few more stops before separating. Simmonds left Beals at his grandfather's house. He later heard that Beals had been arrested. He didn't ever see the girl at Beals's home that day, he testified.

Court will resume Tuesday morning. The case will likely carry over into 2016. 

CBC reporter Blair Rhodes live tweeted from Beals's trial.

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Blair Rhodes

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Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 34 years, the last 25 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety.