Man, woman face human trafficking charges after missing girl found
Girl disappeared from Ottawa around mid-April, was found by police in Barrie, Ont., police say
An Ottawa man and woman have been charged with human trafficking, forcible confinement and more after a girl who disappeared from Ottawa was found and rescued by police in Barrie, Ont.
The girl, who is under 16, disappeared around mid-April, Ottawa police said in a media release issued Thursday. She was found and rescued by Barrie police officers in May, and was taken to a safe place.
Barrie police Const. Jason Storey said the girl called 911 from a hotel room in Barrie on May 2.
The girl was alone in the room when officers arrived and police initially thought she was a runaway, but determined she was being trafficked, Storey said.
Ottawa police take over investigation
Ottawa police took over the investigation and the human trafficking unit ended up arresting two people in the case: a 30-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman, both from Ottawa.
They are each charged with:
- Material benefit from sexual services.
- Financial trafficking of a person by exercising control.
- Forcible confinement.
- Distributing child pornography.
- Advertising another person's sexual services.
- Procuring a person under 18 years old.
- Trafficking persons under 18 years old by recruiting.
- Trafficking persons under 18 years old by exercising control.
The man is also facing a charge of assault causing bodily harm and another charge of forcible confinement. He had no previous criminal record, court records show.
The woman had previous assault convictions from 2009 and 2010, records show.
They appeared in court Tuesday, police said.
Investigators believe there could be other victims, and say the investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to call the Ottawa police human trafficking unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5005. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).