Suspect in Toronto human trafficking case charged

Written by Chris Welch, CNN

Police have charged a 59-year-old Toronto man in connection with a human trafficking investigation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on Friday.

Kevin Kime, who had a high-profile past, had been arrested in the case a year ago.

Detective Sgt. Dave Trottier told reporters Friday that Kime was arrested after a plan to kidnap and extort money from the victim was uncovered.

The police would not provide details about the victim.

‘A domestic victim of sex trafficking’

Officers arrested Kime during an undercover operation, Trottier said. The police are asking for witnesses who may have information on the case to come forward.

Police described Kime as a “vulnerable” and “indecent” man who had been sexually assaulted and forced into prostitution for years.

In 2010, Kime was convicted of two counts of sexual assault. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault, three counts of assault, two counts of pointing a firearm and one count of kidnapping.

A grand jury investigation led to the arrest in November 2016 of Kime, as well as to the release of a video showing three others who were identified as “sex trafficking facilitators.” Police have not released any information about those three.

“We now have a lot of information to go forward on this case,” Trottier said. “We need the public’s help. … We have no reason to believe the investigation will slow down or cease.”

Kime made bail on January 4, 2017, and was released on the condition he not contact the victims or have any contact with the victims in the United States, Germany, Norway and Canada, Trottier said.

But after the case was settled, Kime “continued his activities as if nothing had happened” and directed potential victims to come to Canada, he said.

Trottier said the charges against Kime appeared to be for offenses committed in the United States.

Police would not discuss specific details of the case, but during its investigation, the Mounties said it determined that a victim had been kept in the sex trade and tortured by some of the individuals who had been previously charged in the case.

The joint investigation is part of Project Rector, which started in 2013. It was presented to court in November, but no criminal charges were announced at the time.

CNN affiliate CTV reported that the Criminal Code of Canada lists the crime of human trafficking as “organized criminal activity.”

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