A Montreal man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for bringing an eight-year-old girl from Africa to Canada and sexually exploiting her over a three-year period.
Court documents state Sylvain Villemaire, a former school counsellor, paid the girl’s mother and claimed he would provide her with a good education in Canada. The girl’s country of origin cannot be named because of a court order protecting her identity.
Documents state Villemaire, 60, kept the girl as a prisoner until she was 11, sexually exploiting her multiple times a week, at times with another person.
He pleaded guilty to sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, possession of child pornography and accessing child pornography, in September 2020. He was found guilty of trafficking a minor and distribution of child pornography on Feb. 12, 2021.
CANADA: 10 People, including 2 teens, charged in southern Alberta human trafficking investigation
13 Aug 2021
Ten people, ranging in age from 16 to 37, are facing several charges, including sexual assault and sexual interference, in relation to a sex trafficking investigation in Lethbridge.
According to police, the 10 individuals are believed to have sexually assaulted, exploited and trafficked a teenage girl, as well as sexually assaulted another young teen.
“During the course of the investigation, police first learned that a 15-year-old female had been selected, groomed and brought to specific locations where the offences took place,” Lethbridge police said.
Investigators believe the group arranged for transportation for the girl to various locations, and the girl “often didn’t know the details of these pre-arranged meetings.”
Police determined members of the group also “engaged in sexual activity with a 13-year-old victim.”
“As our investigation continues, the numbers of victims, at this point, have not been confirmed,” police said.
According to LSP Acting Insp. Pete Christos, the investigation only began last week, after one of the victims had the courage to step forward and file a police report.
“They are in a safe place right now, they are being looked after,” Christos said of the victims. “They’ve got a lot of social supports in place”
LPS Chief Chahin Mehdiza said the investigaiton “will allow the victims to gain some measure of control over their lives, and also bring a halt to the despicable operations of those involved in these crimes.”
Eight of those charged have been arrested and are in custody, however, police said two “are still at large.”
Additional charges are also pending against all 10 people, which include a doctor and businessman, police said. The names of the two youths charged are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
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