Woman accused of human trafficking 0
Vanessa Cachia was arrested "without incident" Thursday at a residence on Mississauga Valley Blvd., near Burnhamthorpe and Cawthra Rds.
On the heels of shocking human trafficking allegations against teenage girls in the nation’s capital, a 21-year-old Mississauga woman now stands accused of forcing a fellow female into the sex trade.
And York Regional Police say their case, like the one revealed by Ottawa cops earlier this week, also involves social media.
This latest human trafficking case — the third this week in Ontario involving female perpetrators — began Tuesday when officers responded to a 26-year-old woman “in distress.”
“After becoming acquainted with a male suspect through an online chat site, the victim reported she was forced to work as an exotic dancer and prostitute from Sept. to Nov. 2009,” police said Thursday.
The investigation, led by York’s Drugs and Vice Unit, revealed that man and two women were allegedly involved.
One women, Vanessa Cachia, has since been arrested.
“(The trio) allegedly restricted the victim’s movements and forced her to surrender her identification and any money she earned,” police said.
Cachia also allegedly assaulted the victim, who can’t be identified, and destroyed her personal property.
She was arrested “without incident” Thursday at a residence on Mississauga Valley Blvd., near Burnhamthorpe and Cawthra Rds.
The investigation is ongoing and police believe there may be other alleged victims.
Cachia is charged with human trafficking, living on the avails of prostitution, receive material of financial benefit, forcible confinement, procuring a person, mischief to property, assault and exercising direction, influence or control for gain.
On Monday, Ottawa police revealed two 15-year-old girls were facing similar charges and a 17-year-old girl was still sought.
The accused teen pimps allegedly used social media to lure three other girls, aged 13 to 17, to a home. The victims were allegedly driven to another location on several occasions and forced to perform sex acts on men.
Toronto cops revealed Wednesday that a man, 39, was arrested for the alleged human trafficking of a 15-year-old girl.
In that case, police claim the accused introduced the victim to a woman who “recruited” her for prostitution.
The ages of some of the girls involved may be alarming, but York Drugs and Vice Det. Thai Truong said finding female perpetrators at the heart of human trafficking cases is nothing new.
“It is common for traffickers (or) pimps to have a ‘main girl,’” he said. “This girl is typically recruited by the pimp, often times is a victim herself but through time she turns into a trafficker recruiting other girls and working in concert with the pimp.”
While women “almost always” turn up as suspects in such cases, Truong said investigators understand they are likely victims.
Such woman often avoid charges by becoming witnesses for the prosecution.
“(But) in some cases the woman has completely crossed over the line and is just as violent or worse than the original pimp,” Truong said.