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Pimp who sold girl, 15, for sex gets three years

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What's on The Zone @ 91-3 ::


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Pimp who sold girl, 15, for sex gets three years

May 30 2012

A young man with a tragic upbringing has been sentenced to three years in prison for turning a 15-year-old girl into a prostitute.

On Tuesday, Stephen Anthony Charlie, 23, pleaded guilty in Western Communities provincial court to procuring the girl to have illicit sexual intercourse, and for his own gain, exercising control over the girl to aid her to engage in prostitution.

The offences took place between October 2010 and July 2011. Charlie also pleaded guilty to extortion.

Judge Anthony Palmer sentenced Charlie to three years for procuring, three years for aiding the girl to engage in prostitution and two years for extortion. The sentences are to be served concurrently.

Palmer ordered Charlie to provide a sample of his DNA and imposed a lifetime weapons' prohibition. Charlie must not contact his victim during his sentence.

Crown prosecutor Laureen Nowlan-Card told the court the 15-year-old victim was a high-risk, vulnerable teen in October 2010 when she met Charlie. She had been living with a much older man who was charged with repeated assaults against her. She was addicted to drugs and alcohol, had no job, no money and nowhere to stay. Charlie became romantically involved with the girl and told her he could help her make money.

"She began, under his instruction, to pimp herself out, putting ads on the Internet. Any money she made went to Mr.

Charlie. They lived in hotel rooms, which she paid for, and Mr. Charlie made appointments for her," said Nowlan-Card.

During her first week as a prostitute, Charlie took all her money, about $800, said Nowlan-Card. In November 2010, police saw her ads on the Internet and began an undercover operation.

In May 2011, Charlie was arrested on an assault charge and held at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.

Police, who believed Charlie was procuring a minor, obtained a search warrant to listen to his recorded phonecalls from jail.

"We learned from those, Mr. Charlie was instructing her how to prostitute herself, where to rent from, how much to ask, how to arrange the dates to get more money," said Nowlan-Card.

Charlie also threatened to harm her and give her "raccoon eyes." He told her to bring money for his bail and his jail canteen. She promised to line up jobs and give him the money, said the prosecutor.

In November, when Charlie was released on bail, the girl asked him for the $800 he owed her. Charlie assaulted her, hitting her face into the dashboard, said Nowlan-Card. He accused her of doing tricks on the side and said he would kill her if she didn't give him another $800.

The girl called a friend and asked for $800. The friend agreed to give her the money, but called police. The drop-off was intercepted and Charlie was arrested.

On Tuesday, Charlie also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of assault causing bodily harm and received a four-month concurrent sentence. His defence lawyer, Roger Batchelor, said his client had a very difficult upbringing and probably suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. Charlie grew up in shelters and relying on food banks.

Relatives were victims of residential schools, who attempted suicide and drank until they blacked out. Charlie began drinking at age nine and was put into foster care at 11. He sank into a deep depression at 14, said Batchelor. By 19, he used cocaine daily.

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