Man charged with human trafficking of teen girls

A 20-year-old Toronto man charged with numerous offences related to the human trafficking of girls aged under 18 in York Region is suspected of using social media to find underage victims.

York Regional Police began an investigation into a suspected pimp on April 3. They found two teenage female victims and are releasing a photo of the accused and encouraging any additional victims to contact them.

Alexander Roberts was charged with trafficking in persons under the age of 18; procuring – person under 18; exercising control, direction or influence over person under 18; two counts of possession of child pornography; two counts of distribution of child pornography; two counts of advertising sexual services; material benefit resulting from trafficking in persons under 18; material benefit from sexual services provided by person under 18; assault, and two counts of failing to comply with conditions of recognizance.

The accused was arrested and charged on April 26 and will appear in court in Newmarket on May 22.

Women and young girls involved in prostitution are often forced into the sex trade through violence, threats of violence, coercion and trickery and are considered victims of crime, York police said. Investigators are willing to speak with anyone involved in the sex trade who may be looking for a way out or who may require assistance to escape dangerous circumstances.

Anyone with information about the investigation should contact the York Regional Police Human Trafficking Team at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6800, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.

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