These young people and their social media, I tell you. For every group or organization that uses the medium for good, there are certainly those who are just itching to use it to get — say — their underage prostitution ring off the ground. Even if they are teen girls themselves. Is this a bad Lifetime movie?
Cbcnews.com reports that Ottawa is trying three teenage girls, two aged 15 and one aged 16 at the time of their arrest, for DIYing their own prostitution ring social media style. (A fourth girl is apparently also facing similar charges but is having a different trial). The aspiring pimps have been charged with friending girls online (aged between 13 and 17) and luring them to one of their homes to meet with “clients.” Sometimes under the guise of sleepovers. Authorities say exhibit A is a phone, owned by one of the accused, that contains 29 names of “johns.”
The litany of charges against these ladies took a reported 20 minutes to read. Of the 74 total charges, we’re looking at human trafficking, abduction, procuring for prostitution, forcible confinement, robbery, sexual assault, assault, uttering threats, printing and publishing child pornography to name just a few of the highlights.
Men were reportedly procured though various “dating websites,” two of which allegedly raped a 16- and 17-year-old. Only one of them has been charged with sexual assault so far. And that’s only the beginning:
Police evidence revealed Tuesday also included numerous photos of five teen girls who are complainants and that were not shown in court. Justice Diane Lahaie, [Attorney Julien Lalonde], lawyers for each of the accused and the Crown’s witnesses reviewed the photos privately.
[Ottawa police Det. Carolyn Botting] described the photos in court, though, saying they showed girls nude or semi-nude with breasts and genitals exposed to the camera. The detective also told the court some of the alleged victims were touching themselves in a sexual way in photos.
The Crown alleged the photos were taken after some of the women were forced to take alcohol, marijuana or ecstasy.
Attorney Julien Lalonde has filed the appropriate paper work to have the teens sentenced as adults (if convicted). Should that motion be approved, the girls could be looking at anywhere from five years to 14 years behind bars.
Are parents still practicing the “no sleepovers without at least a phone call with the parents” rule?