More than 100 men in York Region charged for soliciting sex with minors since 2014
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Friday, April 21, 2017 11:38AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 21, 2017 12:55PM EDT
York Regional Police sex crimes investigators say they have posed as pimps and traffickers online to ensnare more than 100 men accused of seeking sex with minors.
Det. Sgt. Thai Truong told reporters Friday that undercover officers in York Region have created numerous online ads over the past three years, offering escorts and young women for sex.
When johns inquired about the ads, Truong said the officers indicated that they were offering children for sex.
That was enough to dissuade a significant number of johns from continuing further, but some continued on to arrange meetings.
In one instance, police allege a 25-year-old pilot asked an undercover officer for a girl “14 or 15 years-old and hot” or 13 if she was “killer.”
In another instance, a truck driver who believed he was texting with a 16-year-old girl offered for her to visit his vehicle.
“I have a really cool truck with bunk beds in the back we could have lots of fun,” the man wrote, before telling the girl to go to sleep because she probably had school the next day.
Crown prosecutor Susan Orlando said 104 men have charged since 2014 as a result of the effort of York officers, with those pleading guilty receiving penalties of between three and seven months in jail.
The age of those accused ranges from 18 to 71-years-old, with suspects employed in a wide variety of professions, Truong said.
Of the 104 cases, 32 ended with guilty pleas in court, three others went to trial and resulted in convictions, while one other suspect was acquitted. Cases against five other suspects were withdrawn and 64 cases remain before the courts.
Since 2012, Truong said 85 girls have been recovered from the sex trade in York Region since 2012. The average age a minor is introduced to the sex trade is under 15-years-old, Truong said.