Two Hamilton teenagers have been rescued by police following a human trafficking investigation in Brantford.
Community Patrol Officers say they went to a hotel on Colborne St. and spoke with two young girls, aged 14 and 16, on Monday.
“The officers identified the two young women as victims of Human Trafficking, being forced into the sex trade. An investigation, including officers from the BPS Child Abuse and Sexual Assault (CASA) and BPS Major Crime Units began,” said Brantford police in a news release.
Police say the girls were being recruited and advertised to provide sexual services. Police allege a man and woman received cash in exchange for the services provided by the teens.
Twenty-year-old Same Alemu, of Toronto, and 18-year-old Deja Clarke, of Brantford, were arrested at the motel and are facing several charges including human trafficking, and advertise sexual services.
Both accused were held in custody for a bail hearing.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation or if you are a victim or believe you may know of a victim of human trafficking is asked to contact Detective John Allan of the Brantford Police Service CASA Unit at 519-756-0113, ext. 2264.
Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking has provided the following tips to help identify victims of human trafficking.
Possible signs that someone is being groomed for sex trafficking include changes such as:
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Being secretive about their activities
- Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend who they won’t introduce to friends and family
- Suddenly spending time with an older person or people
- Staying out more often and later
- Absences from school or a decline in school performance
- Wearing more sexualized clothing
- Having new clothing, jewelry etc. that they can’t afford to buy
- Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number
Signs someone is being ‘Recruited’ or ‘Groomed’
- The person is not allowed to speak for themselves and their activities are controlled by someone else
- The person is under 18 and involved in prostitution or sex work
- The person is unpaid or paid very little to work, and seems to be treated poorly (long or unusual hours, not allowed breaks, forced to live in poor conditions, etc.)
The person is repaying a large debt through labour or sex
- The person seems fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid. They may avoid eye contact, seem fearful around police, etc.
- The person shows signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc
- The person has tattooing or branding symbols, particularly names
- The person doesn’t have their own things or money, and doesn’t control their own passport or other documents
- The person seems malnourished or lacks medical care
- The person is moved frequently and may not know their surroundings well
- The person has been reported missing