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St. Thomas, Ont., man accused of trafficking a minor, sexual exploitation: police

St. Thomas police say all staff have received their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, with only a few waiting on a second dose. Andrew Graham / Global News

A 59-year-old St. Thomas, Ont., man is facing multiple charges, including trafficking a person under the age of 18, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation in connection with a months-long investigation, police said Tuesday.

St. Thomas Police said the investigation began after a female victim contacted authorities reporting that she had been trafficked for several months in 2013 by a man she met as a minor.

Members of the Street Crimes Unit, Criminal Investigations Bureau, and Internet Child Exploitation Unit jointly investigated the allegation, and last week arrested a St. Thomas man at a Talbot Street apartment without incident.

Read more: Manslaughter charge laid after man struck during alleged gas and dash dies: Woodstock police

As a result, Eugene Andre Francois, 59, of St. Thomas is facing multiple charges including traffic of persons under the age of 18, material benefits resulting from trafficking in persons, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and possession of child pornography.

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Investigators say they suspect there may be other victims, and note the accused was known in the community to have provided music lessons and had regular contact with minors.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 519-631-1224 or St. Thomas Crime Stoppers.

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