Man, teenager face combined 21 charges in alleged sex trafficking of 15-year-old girl: Toronto police

Shamar Clarke, 26, and an unidentified 17-year-old girl have been charged with human trafficking-related offences. Toronto Police Service

Toronto police say charges have been laid against a man and a teenager after a 15-year-old girl was allegedly held against her will and forced into sex work.

Police say the victim was contacted by a girl, then 16, via Facebook in May of last year, and convinced her to come to Toronto “so they could hang out.”

After she arrived, police say she was introduced to a then-25-year-old man who told her she was going to work for him as a prostitute. Her picture was featured on ads the teenage suspect allegedly posted on a website.

READ MORE: 32 people charged with 78 offences in Canada-wide human trafficking investigation

Police said the victim was forced to provide proceeds of the sex work to the man and the other teenager.

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Police allege the 15-year-old was assaulted, threatened, held against her will and sexually assaulted by the man, who also allegedly gave her drugs and alcohol in order to stay awake and work.

The girl managed to escape after two weeks and contacted police. The pair were arrested on Wednesday and appeared in court on Thursday.

READ MORE: The reality of sex workers in Canada: Vulnerable, unprotected and misunderstood

Shamar Clarke, 26, is facing six human trafficking-related charges, including trafficking in persons under 18 years by exercising control. He also faces seven others, including child pornography-related charges, assault, sexual assault, overcoming resistance to offence/attempt to choke, uttering threats and forcible confinement.

The now-17-year-old girl, who cannot be named in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is facing eight charges related to sex trafficking and child pornography.

Police say they are concerned there could be other victims. Anyone with information is asked to call Toronto police or Crime Stoppers.

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