A Montreal man convicted of human trafficking in Ottawa has been sentenced to six years in prison for forcing an orphaned teenaged girl into prostitution.
Jamie Byron, 24, was convicted in August of nine charges, including human trafficking, assault and living off the avails of a prostitute under the age of 18.
The court heard that Byron lured his 17-year-old victim from her home in Windsor, Ont., and forced her to travel between several cities, including Ottawa, working as a prostitute.
Superior Court Justice Bonnie Warkentin said Byron lured the girl by telling her he would be her boyfriend, then threatened, abused and intimidated her.
Byron’s lawyer, Francois Dulude, asked for the minimum five-year sentence and argued Byron had the strong support of his family and a former girlfriend.
The Crown sought a 10-year sentence, arguing that Byron, who was 21 at the time of the offences, was a parasite who was “motivated by greed.”
The girl said in her victim impact statement at Thursday’s sentencing hearing that she continues to suffer from distress and nightmares.
Warkentin called Byron “reprehensible” for selling the teen to other men for his own profit, adding that he burned the victim’s birth certificate and other personal documents to keep her compliant.
Byron has maintained he considered the girl to be his girlfriend at the time the offences took place.