July 10, 2019 4:25 pm
Updated: July 10, 2019 6:37 pm

‘Torture for 5 days’: Woman testifies she was held as sex slave in Calgary human trafficking trial

Jessica Vinje is wanted on warrants relating to a Calgary Police Service human trafficking investigation.

Jessica Vinje is wanted on warrants relating to a Calgary Police Service human trafficking investigation.

Courtesy: Calgary Police Service

WARNING: The following story contains details that may be disturbing to some readers. 

A woman in her 20s took the stand in a Calgary courtroom Wednesday with a police trauma dog at her side as she described five days she was kept confined in a room she called a “walk-in closet.”

The woman can only be referred to as KM. The accused in the case, Jessica Vinje, leased the apartment where it’s alleged KM was held against her will.

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

KM broke down several times recounting her experience. She said she was pregnant at the time and testified she was beaten up repeatedly during “the traumatic event,” and was constantly called derogatory names. KM told the court she was given very little to eat, adding she had to beg to be allowed to go to the washroom.

“It was the most pain I ever experienced,” she said. “I thought I was going to be blind forever. I lost vision in one eye.

“I was sore. I had [been] beaten for five days. I was so thin.”

She said she was offered up to strangers for sex, telling the court Vinje referred to one day as “discount day” and offered KM for $20.

There were occasions KM said she was being filmed. Two videos showing KM in captivity were played in court and as she watched, KM was trembling and said she felt humiliated.

“This whole experience was so traumatizing it will affect my life forever,” she said.

“I was in a lot of pain and I cried and spent a lot of time praying to get out.”

READ MORE: Woman, 3 teens wanted in Calgary human trafficking investigation arrested

KM recounted an incident where she was forced to put on a mask and driven to an unknown location. She said she overheard a conversation, alleging that Vinje was attempting to sell her for $500. The transaction fell through and KM said she had to listen to Vinje and another man discuss shooting her.

“I told them I had a two-year-old daughter, I asked if I could call her to say goodbye. Jessica laughed and said ‘no.’ That causes me the most trauma,” KM testified.

KM said when her captors were asleep she escaped and ran in her bare feet to a liquor store across the street and police were called.

Vinje’s trial is set to last two weeks.

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