A former security officer at a high school who exercised a control over a young prostitute has been acquitted of pimping, Monday, in a judgment in nuance.
“There is evidence of the control he exercised on the complainant, but the evidence does not show what kind of activity ; it is the reality with which I must deal with,” said judge Pierre Labelle in paying Denis Desired, Monday, at the palais de justice of Montreal.
Desired, age 46, is an ex-employee of a multi-Montréal. He was accused of having taken advantage of a young woman of 18 who was already living in the world of prostitution, towards the end of 2017. The complainant, whose identity is protected, alleges that Desired had led her into prostitution, both in Quebec and in Ontario and in the Prairies.
“She has had a difficult life, she has been exploited by men for the pleasure of these last,” said the judge. It is a crime abhorrent. “
But there is no doubt that the complainant has been the victim of sexual exploitation, it has not been proved that Desired was the responsible person, concluded the magistrate, after having scrutinized all the evidence presented at trial.
First, the judge was confronted with several contradictions of the complainant between his statements to the police and to the court.
And then, even if the young woman had indeed transferred $ 17,000 to the accused while she worked as a sex worker in Alberta, the evidence has led us to believe that it was a debt in connection with purchases by Desired for the complainant, but also to repair the car of the accused, that the young woman had damaged.
It remained then to find out, if Desired, knew that the money came from prostitution. And, again, nothing was less sure, because if the accused knew at least that the young woman was dancing naked in bars, the evidence did not show beyond any doubt that it was dances with contacts or that he knew that, in addition, she worked as a sex worker.
“There have been words disparaging when it does not touch money “, however, noted the judge.
However, if Desired, has been acquitted of pandering, however, he was convicted of assault and unlawful confinement, for an event which occurred in February 2018, when his car had been damaged by the complainant.
He will return to the court in September, for arguments on the sentence to impose.
“Justice has been made “, simply stated Desired result of the verdict, while thanking his lawyers Roucha Oshriyeh and Serge Lamontagne.
► The Crown has 30 days to appeal, if it considers that errors were committed by the judge.