Ontario police arrest 100 men in child prostitution case

York Regional Police will release more details Friday on a child sex trafficking investigation that resulted in the arrest of more than 100 men accused of "purchasing prostituted children".

Detective Sergeant Thai Truong, spokesperson for York Regional Police, said undercover officers were able to find men who wanted to purchase sex by putting online ads, which was part of Project Raphael.

Truong told reporters that the undercover sting is one aspect of the force's multi-pronged approach to rescuing victims of human trafficking, and charging those who buy and sell sex with children.

Truong says the average age of entry into the human trafficking sex trade is about 15 years old.

When potential clients were told the "girls" were aged 13 to 16, most men dropped the matter, but 104 attempted to arrange meetings and were subsequently arrested. This attracted the attention of men of different ages and from all walks of life.

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Police showed texts allegedly sent from a 51-year-old trucker to an officer posing as a 16-year-old girl during the project.

Ms. Orlando heads a recently formed team of Crown prosecutors specializing in human trafficking crimes across Ontario.

"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.

The men charged range in age from 18 to 71 years old, police said, adding that 19 men believed they were buying sex from a 13- or 14-year-old girl.

Of the 104 cases placed before the courts, 40 of the cases have been resolved, with 64 still before the courts. "They didn't expect to see a police officer on the other side".


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