"Some people don't see a sex trade worker as a human being." When a woman goes missing in Halifax, Sergeant Penny Hart works to build trust between police and sex trade workers to solve the case.
What made this case unique?
- This case showed how how difficult and rare it was for sex trade workers to report assaults to the police. There was, and still is, a sense that sex workers who are victims of sexual assault will not report these incidents to police for fear of reprisal.
- In 2014 the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act was passed into law, amending several sections of the previously existing law concerning sex work that were deemed unconstitutional because they could increase the chance of harm coming to sex workers.(1)
The sections of the previous legislation that were deemed unconstitutional in December 2013, and later amended with bill C-36 were:
- prohibition on keeping or being in a “bawdy house” for purposes of prostitution (section 210);
- prohibition on living on the avails of prostitution (paragraph 212(1)(j)); and,
- prohibition on communicating in public for purposes of prostitution (paragraph 213(1)(c)).
1 Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.
About the detective
Staff Sergeant Penny Hart has worked in law enforcement for over 28 years in Halifax and in Ottawa. She has been a Sergeant in the Financial Crime Unit, Sexual Assault Investigative Team and Major Crime and Homicide. She was Investigator of the Year in 2014 and Police Officer of the Year in 2015, and she received The Governor General of Canada’s Police Order of Merit Award in 2017. She currently is a police inspector.
|Detective Penny Hart||JEWEL STAITE|
|Nadine Taylor||ALISON LOUDER|
|Detective Jones||TIIO HORN|
|Steven Laffin||BRENT SKAGFORD|
|Mary Smith||KELLY CRAIG|
|Robert Turner||TREVOR HAYES|
|Joanna Laffin||MARIANNE FARLEY|
|Aubry Mason||DEREK SEGUIN|
|Donna Taylor||DANETTE MACKAY|
|Albert Monroe||MAXIME LAFERRIERE|
|Forensic Tech||STEFAN OLIVER KEYES|
|Blood Splatter Expert||JASON CAVALIER|
|Detective Analyst||DAN RAMOS|
|Jack Bailey||PATRICK DORVAL|