Nunavut woman to be tried on charges of pimping a young person
Jury trial to be held in Pond Inlet
A 32-year-old Pond Inlet woman will go to trial in the Nunavut Court of Justice March 31 on three charges of procuring a young person for prostitution.
The jury trial will take place in Pond Inlet, population about 1,400, before Justice Neil Sharkey and a 12-person jury. The court has set aside five days for the trial.
Until this week, the woman faced four charges, laid in 2013:
• living wholly or in part on the avails of prostituting a person under the age of 18, under section 212 (2) of the Criminal Code;
• for the purposes of gain, exercising control over the movements of a person to aid, abet or compel that person to carry on prostitution under 212 (1) (h) of the Criminal Code;
• procuring or attempting to procure a person to have illicit sexual intercourse with another person, under section 212 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code; and,
• inviting or counseling a young person aged 16 to 18 to touch the body of another person for a sexual purpose while in a position of trust or authority over that young person, under section 153 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code.
The woman had also been charged with human trafficking under section 279 of the Criminal Code, but that count was rejected by a judge following a preliminary inquiry held to determine if the woman should be committed to trial and on what charges.
Because the remaining charges involve complainants under the age of 18, the woman, if convicted, could face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of two years — and a maximum of 14 years.
Prosecutor Barry McLaren said, however, that the Crown will not proceed on the section 153 sexual touching charge.
Nunatsiaq News is withholding the name of the accused woman to protect the identity of young complainants and potential witnesses.
Juries in Nunavut usually comprise 12 persons. The jury will chosen from among eligible Pond Inlet residents.
In a report on Inuit who are lured or forced into prostitution, Ottawa researcher Helen Roos cites the allegations that led to the procuring charges.
“This particular case involves an Inuk female adult, or procuress, who allegedly lured a highly vulnerable minor Inuk girl from within the community…,” she said in her report.
Roos suggests in her report that such activities may have occurred in other Nunavut communities.
For example, she cites an RCMP investigation into allegations that a minor girl in Pangnirtung was having sex with adult males for money.
“The mother was aware of the situation and approved of her activities. The file was not substantiated, so no charges were laid,” Roos said.
She also cites an RCMP investigation in 2012 into allegations that an 11-year-old girl was offering sexual services in exchange for money, liquor and drugs.
“In this case, the minor was affiliated with two other females in the community, one being an adult,” Roos said in the report.
But no charges were laid in that case either.
Roos said that RCMP in Nunavut identify about one case per year of human trafficking.
(Comments on this story are closed to preserve the integrity of the jury trial and protect the right of the accused to a fair trial.)