Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut April 08, 2014 - 6:37 am

Jury finds Nunavut woman not guilty on three pimping charges

Pond Inlet jury acquits Lisa Arreak, 32, after seven-day trial

DAVID MURPHY

(Updated April 8, 1:52 p.m, with correction.)

A jury in Pond Inlet, after a marathon seven-day trial, has found a local woman not guilty of procuring a minor for prostitution.

Lisa Arreak, 32, was tried on three charges: aiding and abetting the prostitution of a person under the age of 18, abetting or compelling a person to carry on prostitution, and procuring or attempting to procure a person to have illicit sex with another person.

A 12-person Pond Inlet jury acquitted Arreak on all three charges April 6.

The trial, heard in Pond Inlet before Justice Neil Sharkey, featured three witnesses — two Crown witnesses involved in the incidents that led to the charges, and Arreak, who gave evidence in her own defence.

One of the witnesses, the complainant, was 16 when the incidents occurred in 2013.

Jury selection began March 31. The trial ended April 6.

“Two Crown witnesses and the accused all testified that the accused arranged for the teenage complainant to have sex with an adult male, assisted with that sexual activity and accepted payment from the male,” Crown prosecutor Amy Porteous said in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

Porteous said evidence from the three witnesses varied on whether the “initially-reluctant teenager eventually became a willing participant in the sexual activity.”

All three witnesses agreed Arreak had done the things alleged in the charges, the Crown argued.

The Crown argued that the money exchanged “clearly constituted payment for the sexual services that the accused and the complainant had just rendered.”

But “the accused argued that the money given to her after each instance of sex was simply a ‘favour’ being given to her because she lacked funds,” Porteous said.

Juries in Canada are not allowed to give reasons for their decisions.

The trial extended past the scheduled five days because everything said in the trial was interpreted consecutively from one language to another.

Consecutive interpretation means anything that a lawyer or witness says is repeated in the other language by an interpreter.

“Really when you picture it, it’s like running two trials,” Crown prosecutor Barry McLaren said.

“There were no complicated adjournments. There were no real contentious arguments over anything or fights over admissibility of evidence,” McLaren said.

“It was just the translation was a factor. And with juries, things also take longer,” he said.

At one time, Arreak also faced a charge that alleged a form of human trafficking under section 279 of the Criminal Code, which covers various types of forcible confinement.

But after a preliminary inquiry, judge decided there was not enough evidence to justify sending her to trial on that charge.

 

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