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Toronto man charged after recruiting women into sex trade from jail: police

Police say Mathew Maxwell, 27, faces 17 additional charges after allegedly forcing women into the sex trade from a correctional facility. Toronto Police Service / Handout

Toronto police say a man charged earlier this year after forcing multiple women into the sex trade, threatening their families, making them take illegal drugs and branding them with tattoos of his full name, faces more charges after recruiting sex workers while he was inside a correctional facility.

In August, police said 27-year-old Mathew Maxwell convinced a 21-year-old woman to have sex for money and forced illicit drugs on her so he could keep her under his control.

Police added the woman didn’t want to work in the sex trade and tried to avoid taking drugs, but the man allegedly threatened to inject them into her.

READ MORE: Two Quebec men arrested fleeing Ontario in alleged human trafficking case

Investigators said the suspect also assaulted the woman and threatened her family as a way of controlling her.

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Maxwell, of no fixed address, was charged Aug. 15 with 20 offences including extortion, forcible confinement, choking and human trafficking.

On Monday, police announced they were laying 18 additional charges against Maxwell after determining he “was procuring females from inside a correctional facility” from Aug. 7 to Nov. 30.

“He had some assistance from the outside utilizing social media, making the initial contact,” Det.-Const. Corrado Rabbito told Global News Monday, adding that this occurred while Maxwell was in custody.

“Once he hooked into the girls over social media with the help from the person on the outside than the rest of it was done via telephone.”

READ MORE: Ontario promises to spend up to $72 million to fight human trafficking

Rabbito declined to provide more information on what specific facility the incident took place in or how many alleged victims were involved, but said a second woman came forward with allegations that led to the latest charges.

“The initial charges were in relation to a procurement that started earlier in the year, because he was in custody back then, and then once he was released and was physically with that person it continued not only with that female but with multiple other females,” he said.

“The new charges were stemming from after Aug. 16, while he was in custody on those initial human trafficking charges.”

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Maxwell was charged with the following offences after the second complainant came forward:

  • Trafficking in persons by recruiting
  • Procuring
  • Exercising control
  • Material benefit from sexual services
  • Financial or material benefit from trafficking Person Over 18
  • Living on the avails of prostitution
  • Forcible confinement
  • Assault
  • Two counts of uttering threats of death or bodily harm
  • Assault with a weapon or imitation weapon
  • Overcome resistance by choking
  • Assault with a weapon or imitation weapon
  • Extortion
  • Assault with a weapon or imitation weapon
  • Failure to comply with recognizance
  • Possession of proceeds obtained by crime
  • Counsel to commit an indictable offence

Maxwell appeared in a Toronto court on Nov. 3 and police said they’re concerned there may be other victims.

Anyone with information about Maxwell or anyone who knows someone with the name “Mathew Maxwell” tattooed on their body is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

“Right now we’re looking we’re looking for more victims or witnesses it’s one or the other. Because we know that there are girls out there, multiple females with these tattoos,” Rabbito said.

“Even if a witness has seen someone with that tattoo — and they don’t necessarily have to know that they’re a victim — but if they’ve seen that tattoo we would really like to talk to them.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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Police say Mathew Maxwell branded his alleged human trafficking victims with tattoos of his full name. Toronto Police Service / Handout
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Police say Mathew Maxwell branded his alleged human trafficking victims with tattoos of his full name. Toronto Police Service / Handout

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