Ontario police arrest 100 men in child prostitution case
02:12, Apr 23, 2017
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Police in York Region, north of Toronto, said their operation, called the Raphael Project, stopped 104 men who reportedly attempted to have sex with children.
Officers posing as underage sex workers chatted online with the men, who were then charged with offences including communicating for purposes of obtaining sexual services of a person under 18, and internet luring.
PC Truong says that most victims of sex trafficking began prostitution at about the age of 14.
Truong says the average age of entry into the human trafficking sex trade is about 15 years old.
Police focused on men who allegedly tried to buy sex from underage individuals in a bid to curb demand, Truong said.
The arrests occurred seemingly within recent hours and include accused many locations including "outside Ontario" police say.
"All of the men that were arrested, were arrested for attempting to purchase prostituted children". Four went to trial and of those four, three were found guilty and one man was acquitted.
No details about the men have been released, nor have police provided specifics about the charges they face.
A total of 64 cases are before the courts, while 40 cases have been resolved.
Investigators said almost all the men were first-time offenders, and had stable jobs and families.
"So that was a big concern for us which really led us to the genesis of how we were going to try and combat child sex trafficking", he said, adding there were more underage victims identified in the investigation were unable to rescue. "Young lives are irreparably damaged, some completely destroyed and some lost completely".
Truong said the most hard part of the investigation was gaining the trust of the victims.
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