WARNING: This article contains graphic content and may affect those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.
A man and woman are facing additional charges, and a third suspect has been named in an Edmonton sex trafficking case, after a second teenage victim sought help from investigators.
Alexander Basaraba, 20, and Brooklyn Jober Sutherland, 19, have been charged with 17 new criminal offences by Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams’ (ALERT) human trafficking unit.
A third suspect, David Tom, has also been charged, ALERT said in a news release Thursday.
Basaraba and Sutherland were previously charged in February after a 16-year-old girl told her school counsellor she had been recruited and forced to work in the sex industry.
The new charges were laid after a human trafficking survivor contacted police in response to news coverage about the couple’s arrest, ALERT said in the news release.
The second survivor, a 17-year-old girl, told investigators that she had also been recruited and forced into working in the sex industry.
The survivor is receiving support and specialized care resources, ALERT said.
“ALERT said from the onset of this investigation that our goal was supporting other survivors,” said Staff Sgt. Frank Pagé with the ALERT Human Trafficking unit said in the release.
“These arrests, and new charges, should demonstrate that we are listening and we are committed to holding their perpetrators accountable.”
Basaraba and Sutherland, were first arrested after officers searched two Edmonton homes.
At the time, the pair were jointly charged with nine counts including trafficking a person under the age of 18, arranging for a sexual offence against a child, and advertisement of sexual services.
Investigators suspected there were other victims and released photos of the accused, who are known to use aliases, in the hopes other victims would seek help.
Basaraba and Sutherland were charged with:
- Trafficking a person under the age of 18.
- Procuring a person under the age of 18.
- Arrangement for a sexual offence against a child.
- Material benefit from sex trafficking.
- Advertisement of sexual services.
- Making child pornography.
- Distributing child pornography.
- Possessing child pornography.
Basaraba faces an additional charge of child luring and remain in police custody awaiting a scheduled court appearance on July 28.
Tom was charged with trafficking a person under the age of 18, obtaining sexual services for consideration, and for permitting prohibited sexual activity within a household.
Tom is set to appear in court September 7.
Support is available for victims and survivors of human trafficking. The toll-free number for the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking is 1-833-900-1010. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.
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