Police charge rapper, 2 others, with human trafficking
A local rapper and two other residents of Vaughan face prostitution-related charges after allegedly forcing a 21-year-old girl into the sex trade, police said Tuesday.
York Regional Police said the woman worked as a prostitute in Vaughan and Mississauga after befriending a local hip-hop artist and two other people online.
The three suspects are alleged to have forced the woman to work as a prostitute through violence and intimidation. The woman was forced to hand over money she made working as an exotic dancer and working in the sex trade, police said.
York police's drugs and vice squad say the woman managed to contact investigators in late September. The suspects were arrested on Oct. 6 without incident.
Stefan Ascenzi, 26 – also known as "Romeo" on the hip-hop circuit – Lisa Ascenzi, 45, and Vanessa Cachia, 21, have been charged with a variety of offenses including trafficking in persons, living on the avails of prostitution, assault and forcible confinement.
Investigators believe there may be other victims and are asking anyone with information to step forward.
Anyone with information is asked to call the York Regional Police drugs and vice unit at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7640 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.