Canada: Calgary woman found not guilty of human trafficking in sex slave case - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Calgary woman found not guilty of human trafficking in sex slave case

00:40  29 october  2019
00:40  29 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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CALGARY — A Calgary woman who was accused of holding a sex slave hostage in her downtown apartment for five days has been found not guilty of human trafficking and forcible confinement.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Scott Brooker did convict Jessica Vinje of assault.

The accused testified during her trial in July that she met the complainant, identified only as KM, in December 2017 through a mutual friend.

Vinje told court that KM asked that same day whether she could use Vinje's apartment to meet potential escort clients because she needed to make money.

Vinje admitted that her apartment was often used as a flop house and that she punched KM on one occasion, when a teen at the apartment said KM had offered to exchange a sexual favour for drugs.

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Mataev was found guilty of assault and pimping, but there was a hung jury on the charge of human trafficking . A woman , whose name cannot be published because it is subject to a publication ban, testified via video that Mataev kept her as a sex slave for six months.

Cody pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, 12 counts of sex trafficking , conspiracy to transport individuals across state lines for the purpose of prostitution The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Allentown Police Department.

KM testified she endured days of torture, was repeatedly assaulted and forced to have sex with strangers.

She said some of the men answered online ads but she never saw any of the money and wasn’t aware how much cash Vinje took from them.

On one occasion, KM testified, a mask was put over her head and she was driven to an unknown location, where she overhead a conversation about selling her for $500, but that never went through. She said she even heard those who captured her discuss shooting her.

She said she escaped five days later when she noticed the apartment was unusually quiet. Court was shown security video from a liquor store on December 13, 2017, in which KM, barefoot and in a tank top, is seen running across the street and hiding behind the counter until police arrive. She said she was three months pregnant at the time.

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The case involved eight women and four teenagers. The jury was deadlocked on one count sex trafficking and found him not not guilty on another, but the ten counts they found him guilty of can still send him to "I am just amazed there are human beings that treat other human beings that way."

VANCOUVER - A wealthy British Columbia businesswoman accused of luring a young Tanzanian woman to Canada and forcing her to work as a virtual domestic slave in her multimillion-dollar West Vancouver mansion has been found not guilty of human trafficking . B.C. Supreme Court Justice

Brooker noted that he had difficulty with the opposing accounts of what happened and noted that the accused and the complainant were both admitted drug users.

The judge said KM's testimony raised serious concerns about her reliability and credibility, while Vinje admitted in court that her memory of events at the time was foggy because she was always high on heroin.

Vinje was living in a subsidized apartment and said she committed credit card fraud daily to pay for food and taxis.

Court heard she has 64 convictions on her criminal record dating back to 2006.

A sentencing hearing on the assault conviction is to be held next week.  (CTV Calgary)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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