Police are getting ready to update the media and the public Tuesday afternoon on the investigation into an alleged human trafficking ring led by teenaged girls.
Ottawa have charged two 15-year-old girls with human trafficking for the forced prostitution of three other teenaged girls— a case investigators believe is unprecedented.
The two 15-year-old girls are also charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement, assault, uttering threats and abduction. Officers are also looking for a third suspect, a 17-year-old girl.
The three female victims, are aged 13 to 17, were lured by the accused girls via social media and social means brought to a location on the 2400 block of Walkley and forcibly confined and threatened, said Ottawa police staff sergeant John McGetrick.
“From there they were taken to the other places for the purposes of prostitution,” he said.
The victims were separately forced into prostitution; one on May 19, the second on May 31, and the third on June 3, he said.
McGetrick would not comment on how the accused girls, at the ages of 15 and 17, were capable of doing what they are accused of doing.
“In checking with the RCMP, who have a lot of expertise in human trafficking, they are not familiar with another case of this nature,” he said. “It’s shocking.”
Neighbours in a housing complex on Walkley Road identified one of the units where one of the girls was arrested. One neighbour, who asked that her name be withheld, said she was home when police officers came to the home in big, black cars and arrested one of the two 15-year-old girls.
She had been expecting the arrest to have to do with drugs, because she sees people in house toss things out the upper window of to people who then smoke foul-smelling drugs outside of her house.
When she learned that the girls were accused of forcing other girls into prostitution, she said she was not very surprised.
“I was expecting even worse,” she said.
Police are not aware of any other victims, but if anyone has any information about this crime or similar crimes they are asked to contact the Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Section at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS) or toll free at 1-800-222-8477.
The names of the accused cannot be released due to provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.