Calgary man, 24, charged with human trafficking in Winnipeg

Police say the man posted an ad of the woman offering sexual services on social media and arranged meetings between clients and the woman.  (Jaison Empson/CBC - image credit)
Police say the man posted an ad of the woman offering sexual services on social media and arranged meetings between clients and the woman. (Jaison Empson/CBC - image credit)

A 24-year-old man from Calgary is facing a half-dozen charges related to the alleged trafficking of a 18-year-old woman, after he confined her to hotel rooms and vacation rentals in several cities and assaulted her, Winnipeg police say.

Officers with the Winnipeg Police Service went to a short-term vacation rental in the 300 block of Hargrave Street last Thursday to check on the woman's well-being, after police in Québec told them she might be a human-trafficking victim, a Tuesday news release said.

The woman had contacted a friend in Québec that same day, who then reached out to police, the news release said.

Officers found the man at the Hargrave Street suite with the woman and arrested him there.

Police say the woman received short-term support from community groups in Winnipeg before going back to her home province.

Police allege the man had met the woman at a bar in Montreal in early January and manipulated her into thinking they were in a romantic relationship.

The man then took the woman to four Ontario cities before ending up in Winnipeg, according to police. He didn't let her leave the suites they were staying in, and he took her ID and phone away from her, police say.

He's also accused of physically assaulting her multiple times to stop her from leaving.

Their investigation found the man posted an ad on social media of the victim offering sexual services, police say. They say the man arranged meetings between clients and the woman, collecting money from the sexual services she provided.

The man was detained in custody. He's facing charges of trafficking in persons, forcible confinement and assault.

He also faces charges of materially benefitting from sexual services, procuring a person to provide sexual services and advertising sexual services.

For anyone who has been sexually assaulted, there is support available through crisis lines and local support services via this government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If you're in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911. 

You can learn about recognizing the signs of human trafficking by visiting the Canadian Centre for Human Trafficking.