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Man, youth charged with human trafficking after girl escapes

Last Updated Sep 19, 2018 at 6:19 pm EDT

Shamar Clarke, 26, was arrested and charged in connection with a human trafficking investigation in Toronto on July 19, 2017. HANDOUT/Toronto Police Service

Police have charged a 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl who were allegedly involved in forcing another girl to work in the sex trade.

The victim said in May 2016, a girl, then 16, contacted her through Facebook and convinced her to come to Toronto to hang out.

The 16-year-old reportedly brought the victim to Shamar Clarke, and he told the victim, who was 15 at the time, she would be working for him providing sexual services for money.

The 16-year-old then allegedly posted ads with pictures of the victim on the website Backpage.com.

Police said the victim was forced to work in the sex trade and give all the money she made to Clarke and the 16-year-old.

The victim was reportedly assaulted, threatened, held against her will and sexually assaulted by Clarke.

She said she was given alcohol and drugs to stay awake longer and work.

After she was held for two weeks, the girl escaped and contacted police.

Officers launched an investigation and on Wednesday arrested Clarke and the youth.

They have been charged with 21 offences combined, including several related to human trafficking, child pornography, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

The teen girl can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Police are asking any other victims to come forward. Whether or not victims want to press criminal charges, officers want them to have access to support services.