Teen abduction, prostitution case delayed by report of 3rd victim
A case involving teenage girls who were allegedly abducted from Ottawa to Gatineau, confined, drugged and forced into prostitution has been delayed after police announced they have found a third victim.
Laura Emerson, 28, and Gordon Kingsbury, 33, appeared briefly in court in Gatineau on Thursday. Emerson has been charged with counts that include forcible confinement, aggravated assault and procuring prostitution from minors, while Kingsberry faces two counts of sexual assault.
But court proceedings were quickly adjourned until next Tuesday.
Emerson's lawyer, Jean Bourget, said the delay was intended to provide more time for police to disclose the new evidence concerning the latest victim, announced by police Wednesday, so he can prepare to defend his client.
In the meantime, Crown prosecutor Diane Legault said more serious charges are on the way, including human trafficking.
Gatineau police allege the 17-year-old victims were abducted near a shelter for young women in Ottawa and taken to an apartment on Alexandre-Taché Boulevard in Gatineau where one of them was held for one year, and the two others for several months. They were allegedly drugged, sometimes tethered inside the apartment for several days and forced into prostitution, police said.
Because the girls were allegedly abducted in Ottawa, kidnapping charges could be filed in Ontario if there is enough evidence, Legault said.
However, Ottawa police Insp. Mike Callaghan, who heads the youth section and guns and gangs unit, said he could not comment as the investigation is ongoing.
Emerson and Kingsbury were arrested after one of the victims escaped and complained to police on July 25. She said it was the second time she had escaped, but the first time she was recaptured and beaten.