July 8, 2019 5:59 pm
Updated: July 8, 2019 6:07 pm

Trial underway for accused in case that saw Calgary victim held captive in 2017

Jessica Vinje pleads not guilty in human trafficking investigation.

Jessica Vinje pleads not guilty in human trafficking investigation.

Courtesy: Calgary Police Service

The trial for 30-year-old Jessica Vinje started in Calgary on Monday.

Vinje is accused of being involved in a disturbing human trafficking case centred around a victim who was held captive for five days.

Vinje pled not guilty to all charges from the December 2017 crime.

Crown prosecutor Donna Spaner told court Monday the victim, who can only be referred to as KM, feared for her life.

Spaner said KM was repeatedly beaten, and forced to have sex with strangers for money the prosecution said was paid to Vinje.

The Crown said KM was given little to eat or drink while she was confined in a windowless bedroom at a downtown apartment, which was leased to Vinje.

KM said she overheard a conversation that she believed she was going to be sold as a sex slave, according to the Crown. Video recordings of the sexual assaults were submitted as evidence. KM escaped the apartment on Dec. 13, 2017, running in bare feet and a tank top to a nearby liquor store.

Vinje turned herself into investigators just over a week after KM fled the apartment.

KM is expected to testify on Wednesday, and the trial is scheduled for two weeks.

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