An Ottawa teen who befriended girls on Facebook and other social media, then forced them to work as escorts, has been found guilty of 30 of 33 charges against her.
The 17-year-old – identified as the ringleader of the group – was found guilty Wednesday on counts including human trafficking, forcible confinement, assault, robbery, sexual assault, child luring and distributing child pornography.
Justice Diane Lahaie ruled the testimony of the main victims in the case was both reliable and clear and found the girl guilty of the majority of the charges she faced.
Lahaie found the girl orchestrated a web of clients and lured the victims – aged 13 to 17 – intending to exploit them, and held them against their will.
The victims were made to pose for pornographic images that were sent to dozens of men, and three of them were forced to have sexual encounters with men while the girl kept the money.
The Crown said it will be seeking an adult sentence for the girl.
Two other teens accused in the case pleaded guilty to several charges in September in a surprise about-face after having pleaded not guilty earlier last year.
The three girls, whose identities are protected under a publication ban, were arrested in June, 2012, in the Ottawa area.
Detective Kelly Lyle said she’s pleased with the result.
“All the evidence came out great and the victims, as we keep stressing, they were the reason that we did so well,” Lyle said, adding she’s proud of the girls’ strength in coming forward and testifying.