Human trafficking rare charge for Nova Scotia police

RCMP say human trafficking is a rare charge in Nova Scotia, but applies to what police allege happened over two days in a North Preston basement late last week.

2 North Preston men charged after teen girl escapes from basement

RCMP forensic officers scoured this North Preston trailer for clues in the sex assault and confinement case. (Elizabeth Chiu/CBC)

RCMP say human trafficking is a rare charge in Nova Scotia, but applies to what police allege happened over two days in a North Preston basement late last week.

A 15-year-old girl says she escaped from a home on Clarence Street Thursday night after she was held against her will and sexually assaulted.

Police won't confirm the identities of the two 18-year-old men accused until they appear in court on Monday, but CBC has learned they are Doreze Beals and Andre Grey. Both are from North Preston.

The two are accused of human trafficking, sexual assault, sexual interference and unlawful confinement.

One of the men is also charged with uttering threats, use of a weapon during an assault, possession of a dangerous weapon and breach of probation.

"As far as exercising control over someone in an attempt to force them into the sex trade industry. Those are the reasons why human trafficking was laid in this case," said RCMP Const. Tammy Lobb.

Lobb says more charges could follow as the investigation grows.

She said the 15-year-old was treated in hospital and police say she is safe.

By the numbers

According to Public Safety Canada’s latest report there have been 35 human trafficking convictions since new laws to fight the problem came into effect in 2005.

At least nine of the victims were under the age of 18.

Sentences for the 35 convictions obtained in Canada ranged from one day to nine years imprisonment. One company was fined more than $200,000.

When it comes to charges, Statistics Canada data shows that 125 people were charged in Canada between 2005 and 2012 in incidents in which trafficking in persons was the most serious offence.

Under a Criminal Code provision established in November 2005, people can be charged with trafficking in persons if they recruit, conceal or otherwise exercise control over a person for the purpose of exploiting them.