Police rescue 15-year-old from prostitution ring
A 40-year-old man is under arrest and a 15-year-old girl is in protective custody after York Regional police infiltrated a prostitution ring.
Members of the police Drugs and Vice Unit were told Friday that the teen was allegedly working as a prostitute under the direction of the male suspect.
Their investigation led them to a condominium in Toronto where they found the girl and the suspect.
"Officers apprehended her as a child in need of protection and removed her to a place of safety," police said in a news release Sunday.
Police say their investigation continued Saturday as officers executed two search warrants at condos in 1001 Bay Street and 1200 York Mills Boulevard in Toronto.
Investigators say they believe the teen was held at these two locations before police found her.
"Investigators located numerous items that indicated to them the apartments were being used as common bawdy houses," police said in the news release. "Advertisements were located online and in local newspapers seeking to procure women into prostitution and suggesting sexual services in exchange for money."
Police say they also seized about $16,000 in cash.
Renan Gazzali Esahak, a Richmond Hill resident that is also known as "Ray" or "Kelsey", has been charged with:
- Sexual interference
- Invitation to sexual touching
- Procuring person to have illicit intercourse with another person
- Procuring person to leave usual place of abode
- Living on the avails of prostitution
- Keep a common bawdy house
- Knowingly conceal a person at a common bawdy house
- Exercising control, direction or influence
- Householder permitting sexual activity
- Transporting person to a common bawdy house
Police are asking anyone with information to call authorities at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7817. The public can also leave anonymous tips with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.