Months-long human trafficking investigation leads to arrest
Published Friday, November 7, 2014 11:36AM CST
Last Updated Friday, November 7, 2014 9:01PM CST
The same day Canada passed a new prostitution law to crack down on
johns, a human trafficking investigation has led to charges against a
43-year-old Winnipeg man.
Police say the suspect and a 25-year-old woman met in Winnipeg and
travelled together to Brandon earlier this year. From March until
mid-October, the woman was forced to work as an escort, police said.
The woman was threatened with violence if she didn’t perform sexual
services and at one point was physically assaulted, police said.
The Winnipeg Police Service counter exploitation unit launched an
investigation into the case in the summer of 2014. Police arrested Dale
Richard Aymont on Nov. 6 in downtown Winnipeg.
Aymont faces numerous charges involving trafficking in persons, prostitution, assault and uttering threats.
“Winnipeg police has adopted a victim-first approach, understanding
that these women are out there, they’re being exploited,” said Const.
Eric Hofley. “There’s no history for this victim and I don’t think it
was apparent to her at the time this was going to transpire, and once
there, was caught up in it.”
Dianna Bussey works with people transitioning from prostitution and understands how a vulnerable person can get trapped.
“The trafficker, whether it be the pimp or something else, (says) ‘I
can give this better life to you, so come with me,’” she said.
She says exploiters can seem like a trusted friend of the victim at first.
Aymont was hired as an HR consultant through Emex, an employment
agency, working on contract at Bell Media in Winnipeg for two and a half
weeks. He was vetted and referred to Bell Media through the agency.
He also worked for Southeast Child and Family Services. The agency says he was let go for taking employee information.
Aymont’s social media presence shows a large community involvement. His
Linkedin account lists him as a football coach at Murdoch Mackay
Collegiate. The River-East Transcona School Division says he hadn’t been
listed as a coach since 2010.
Aymont’s blog includes a post about the “oldest profession in the
world” asking, “Can the modern sex trade and modern morality co-exist?”
MP Joy Smith, who pressed for the new prostitution law, says it provides protection for sex-trade victims.
“Behind her are hundreds more who will be hearing this story, and they’ll be calling the police,” said Smith.
She says it also means tougher punishment for those who exploit others.
– With a report by Alesia Fieldberg
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