The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Cellphones, clothes seized in teen prostitution case, court hears

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OTTAWA - The trial of three teenaged girls accused of running a prostitution ring in Ottawa is getting a look at what police seized while searching a bedroom belonging to one of the girls.

Ottawa police Det. Carolyn Botting is showing court the evidence, which includes cellphones, hair straighteners, headphones and a business card for an underground taxi service.

She says police also recovered clothes mentioned by alleged victims in the case, such as a leopard print bustier some reported they were forced to wear.

Court heard that a cellphone found on the girl facing the most charges contained photos of the accused and several alleged victims.

A publication ban under the Youth Criminal Justice Act prevents identification of both the accused and their alleged victims.

The three accused are facing dozens of charges, including human trafficking, procuring for prostitution, abduction and sexual assault.

They also face child pornography charges in connection with the nude photos taken of the alleged victims.

The girls were arrested last June in the Ottawa area after social media was allegedly used to lure seven girls between 13 and 17 years of age to a community housing project in southeast Ottawa.

Only two of them are currently in custody.

Crown prosecutor Julien Lalonde told court Monday that some of the alleged victims, ranging in age from 13 to 17, were forced to have sex with "clients" of the accused, beaten, confined and robbed.

(CFRA, The Canadian Press)

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