Couple sentenced after 14-year-old girl offered up as escort
A 14-year-old girl — the cousin of the woman sentenced — was advertised as an escort and told to have sex with a man in exchange for cash.
A catch by the city police vice unit led to the interruption of a scheme involving the prostitution of a teenage girl by her adult cousin.
On Monday, two people — a 23-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man — pleaded guilty to charges related to the 2016 incident, the woman to receiving a financial benefit from sexual services performed by a person under 18 and the man to knowingly advertising sexual services.
Because of a publication ban preventing identification of the underage girl, neither of the individuals can be named.
“What happened to the victim is horrific and tragic …,” Crown prosecutor Shauna Silver told the court in detailing the incident. “She trusted (her cousin) and that trust resulted in her exploitation.”
Court heard the matter thankfully came to light quickly, when a member of the Regina Police Service’s vice unit was doing a daily check on the now-defunct Backpage website. Silver said on the morning of Feb. 8, 2016, the investigator spotted an ad offering the sexual services of someone alleged to be 18. Police were aware the age might be a ruse, so the investigator arranged a “date” with the girl, offering $160 if she’d meet him at a local hotel.
Police investigators waited at the hotel at the arranged time, identifying themselves as police when she entered the room. She provided her real name and confirmed to them she was, in fact, just 14.
In a statement, the girl told police her cousin and her cousin’s boyfriend picked her up on Feb. 5 from her home out of town and drove her into the city. The girl stayed with her mother that night, but met with her cousin the next day.
The girl reported her cousin bought her clothes — the clothes she wore when she was taken on arranged jobs.
The girl told police her cousin took her to a Regina hotel, gave her a purse containing condoms and told her to go up to one of the rooms. The cousin told the girl that once she got up there, she was to “go along with it.”
The 14-year-old went up to the room and met with a man. He had sex with her, then gave her $100, $50 of which her cousin took.
Court heard the cousin arranged a second date — the one where police were waiting.
While the cousin made all the arrangements, she used her boyfriend’s phone, and Silver said the man made a deliberate choice not to ask questions.
Defence lawyers for the pair didn’t provide reasons for the crime, although the woman’s lawyer told the court she experienced factors like racism and poverty growing up.
Neither offender had a criminal record going into the Monday sentencing, a fact that helped lead to sentences shorter than they might have been otherwise. The woman received the minimum sentence for her crime: two years in prison. After that, she will be on probation for two years and subject to orders restricting her access to children, including a 20-year placement on the national sex offender registry.
The man received a two-year conditional sentence, which means he won’t serve actual time behind bars unless he breaches conditions of his order.
Both were ordered not to contact the complainant.
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Published: Octover 1, 2019
- Posted By: Heather Polischuck - Regina Leader-Post
- Comments: 0