Suspects Accused of Forcing Woman Into Sex Trade Then Shooting Her

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Two men - one from Peel Region - are facing 56 charges after allegedly forcing a woman into the sex trade then shooting her in the buttocks.

Investigators from Toronto police’s human trafficking enforcement team allege the victim, 19, was forced into providing sexual services between Jan. 8 and Feb. 10.

During this time, the men allegedly took photographs of her in various degrees of undress, created ads for sex services, and posted them on backpages.com

The woman was taken across Toronto and surrounding areas, including Peel, Durham, and York Region.

She stayed in various Airbnb rentals and was forced to provide sexual services to clients, police allege, while the men took her identification and made her hand over all the money she earned.

The suspects were with the victim at the Idlewood Inn on Kingston Rd. in Toronto when an argument broke out on Feb. 5.

The woman told them she no longer wanted to be an escort, say police, and one of the men gave his accomplice a .45 calibre semi-automatic handgun and pointed the gun at her face.

As she tried to push the gun away - fearing she would be shot - the man became angry and fired a shot, striking her in the buttocks area, police allege.

The men took her from the hotel room and drove her to an unknown address in the Toronto area after the shooting,

Police say over the next five days the men took the victim to several addresses in the GTA and refused to seek medical attention for her gunshot wound.

She managed to escape and went to a local hospital.

One suspect was arrested on Feb. 20 in Hamilton.

Police allege the man had a loaded gun, also seizing a large quantity of cash and ammunition.

Tyrel McLean, 18, of Hamilton, is charged with: trafficking in persons; financial material benefit from trafficking; withhold/destroy identification; procuring/recruit person to provide sexual services; two counts of material benefit; advertise sexual services; two counts of point firearm; possess weapon for committing an offence; use firearm in the commission of an offence; discharge firearm with intent to wound or endanger life; careless use of a firearm; aggravated assault; two counts of forcible confinement; two counts of possess loaded regulated firearm; two counts of possess firearm without registration certificate; two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm; two counts of careless use of a firearm; threatening death; two counts of possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle; possess prohibited/restricted weapon or prohibited device knowing no authority; possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.

The same day, members of the human trafficking enforcement team and the emergency task force executed a search warrant in Brampton.

Investigators allegedly found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun in a vehicle, also seizing a large quantity of money and ammunition.

Dante Thaxter, 18, of Peel Region, is charged with: trafficking in persons; financial material benefit from trafficking; withhold/destroy identification; procuring/recruit person to provide sexual services; two counts of material benefit; advertise sexual services; two counts of point firearm; possess weapon for committing an offence; use firearm in the commission of an offence; discharge firearm with intent to wound or endanger life; careless use of a firearm; aggravated assault; two counts of forcible confinement; two counts of possess loaded regulated firearm; two counts of possess firearm without registration certificate; two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm; two counts of careless use of a firearm; threatening death; two counts of possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle; possess prohibited/restricted weapon or prohibited device knowing no authority; possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.

Both men appeared in a Toronto courtroom on Feb. 21.

Police are concerned there may be other victims and are encouraging all affected individuals to come forward and report human trafficking occurrences to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Photos via Toronto Police Service

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