Homeless youth agency encouraged by first human trafficking conviction
TORONTO, ON, May 26, 2014 –
A conviction of human trafficking for the sexual exploitation of two local young victims who received care and counselling from Covenant House Toronto is encouraging, says the agency for homeless youth.
The case marks the first human trafficking conviction for Toronto Police.
Justice Cavion found Tyrone Burton, 30, guilty of eight human trafficking-related charges, which include trafficking, exercising control, receiving material benefits and withholding identification documents.
Burton was accused of controlling their movements and forcing the young women, 19 and 21, to prostitute themselves and keeping all their earnings for several weeks in December 2012, according to Toronto Police. They managed to escape and contact police.
The agency’s Human Trafficking Specialist, Michele Anderson, was in court today to hear the verdict, after supporting the young women through the lengthy and difficult legal proceedings. Anderson said she was gratified that justice was done for these young women.
Anderson, who has worked with victims of sexual exploitation for over 20 years, says the victims in this case, like the many she has seen, are severely traumatized by these horrific crimes and require long-term support to help re-build their lives.
As the country’s largest homeless youth agency, Covenant House provides 24/7 crisis shelter along with comprehensive services, including education, counselling, and employment assistance to some 3,000 youth annually. For over 30 years, the agency has helped thousands of young people move from a life on the street to a life with a future.
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