Stephen Charlie's prostitution of a child

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"Stephen Charlie" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Charlie Stephens.
Stephen Charlie's Aiding and abetting Charge
Time October 2010 - January 2012
Location Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Coordinates 48°25′20″N 123°21′57″W / 48.422151°N 123.3657°W / 48.422151; -123.3657Coordinates: 48°25′20″N 123°21′57″W / 48.422151°N 123.3657°W / 48.422151; -123.3657
Participants Stephen Charlie
Outcome 4 years of imprisonment
Verdict Guilty
Convictions Assault causing bodily harm
Extortion
Procuring
Publication bans Name of the victim

Stephen Charlie's Pimping Charge took place between December 2010 and 2012 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Charlie grew up depending on food bank. He became part of Canada's foster care system when he was 11. In December 2010, Charlie met a poor, unemployed, 16-year-old girl who had been living with a much older man who had frequently assaulted her. Phone calls recorded from inside jail phones picked up Charlie was helping aid the girl with money for hotels and other needs.

On January 19, 2012, Charlie was arrested and charged with six offences, four of which related to the pimping online and two which were unrelated. Because Charlie's victim was only 17 years old at the time of his arrest, her name was not released to the public, nor was information about whether she was living with family or with youth services. On May 29, Charlie pleaded guilty to extortion, to procuring the girl for illegal sexual purposes, and to prostituting her for personal gain. He received a sentence of 3 years of imprisonment from Judge Anthony Palmer. Corporal Kathy Rochlitz of the West Shore Royal Canadian Mounted Police asserted that many of the smaller communities in British Columbia don't regularly investigate similar cases, but the RCMP wanted to share information about this particular instance of child prostitution "to make people realize it does happen" and that "it may be seen more regularly in bigger centres." In response to the media coverage of Charlie's crimes, members of the Victoria community raised $10,000 to enter Andrew Kooman's She Has a Name, a play about sexual slavery, in the Victoria Fringe Festival from August 24 to September 3.

Background[edit]

Stephen Anthony Charlie was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1990.[1] It is probable that he was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. He grew up depending on food banks. His relatives were former victims of the Canadian Indian residential school system who drank to the point of blackout. At 9 years of age, Charlie began consuming alcoholic beverages. He became part of Canada's foster care system when he was 11 and became depressed by the time he was 14. He had begun using cocaine on a daily basis by the time he was 19.[2]

Crime[edit]

In December 2010, Charlie met a poor, unemployed, 16-year-old girl who had previously been living with a much older man who frequently assaulted her. She was dependent on alcohol and on drugs and was also homeless.[2] Charlie and the girl were not related.[3]Charlie Aided the girl with money for hotels. In November, police began an undercover operation after having seen online advertisements for the girl's sexual services[2] on several websites.[4] There were several law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation: the West Shore Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the British Columbia RCMP, Mobile Youth Services, and the Regional Crime Unit,[1] which is a surveillance organisation that tracks repeat offenders.[5] Law enforcement agencies in British Columbia had previously investigated other instances of teenage prostitution advertised online.[6]

The police located Charlie six months after the start of the investigation.[3] Charlie was arrested in May 2011 on charges of assault,[2] robbery, and breaking and entering.[7] He was subsequently housed at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre. Because police believed that Charlie was procuring a minor, a search warrant was obtained in order to listen to recordings of the phonecalls that Charlie made from jail. These recorded phonecalls demonstrated Charlie was giving the girl instructions about where to rent, how much to charge for sexual services, and generally how to prostitute herself for 2 months. In November,[2] on January 19, 2012.[8] The investigation had lasted for fourteen months before the RCMP brought charges.[5]

Sentencing and incarceration[edit]

Charlie initially faced six charges,[6] four of which related to the prostitution of a child online and two which were unrelated.[1] The four related charges were kidnapping, living off the proceeds of prostitution, forcing a person to work as a prostitute, and assault.[9] The charge of kidnapping stemmed from the accusation that Charlie had kidnapped the girl around November 22, 2010. One of the unrelated charges was extortion, a crime that Charlie had committed in November 2010 against a man whose name was not released to the public. Charlie's indictment stated that his crimes had all occurred in the Victoria area, and the RCMP specified the West Shore. There was a two-week hearing in February 2012, after which time Charlie continued to be detained at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre. He was scheduled to appear by video before a court in West Shore on March 8.[7]

Because Charlie's victim was only 16 years old at the time of his arrest, her name was not released to the public,[10] nor was information about whether she was living with family or with youth services.[3] Laureen Nowlan-Card served as Crown Prosecutor at Charlie's trial in a West Shore court, while Roger Batchelor served as Charlie's criminal defense lawyer. On May 29, 2012, Charlie pleaded guilty to extortion, to procuring the girl for illegal sexual purposes, and to prostituting her for personal gain. He received a sentence of 3 years of imprisonment from Judge Anthony Palmer. The judge had issued Charlie with a 4-month sentence for assault causing bodily harm, a 2-year sentence for extortion, a 3-year sentence for aiding the girl in prostitution, and a 3-year sentence for procuring, all sentences to be served concurrently. Judge Palmer furthermore prohibited Charlie from contacting his victim for the duration of his sentence and also from possessing a weapon for the rest of his life. Stephen Charlie had also to provide a DNA sample.[2]

Responses[edit]

Corporal Kathy Rochlitz of the West Shore RCMP stated that crimes like Charlie's "really target the vulnerable, or at-risk youth, especially when there's the lure of the money, drugs and attention."[4] In February 2012, Rochlitz also stated that Charlie's victim was "in a safe environment moving forward with her life."[3] She further asserted that many of the smaller communities in British Columbia did not regularly investigate similar cases, but the RCMP wanted to share information about this particular instance of child prostitution "to make people realize it does happen" and that "it may be seen more regularly in bigger centres."[6] In response to the media coverage of Charlie's crimes, members of the Victoria community raised $10,000 to enter Andrew Kooman's She Has a Name, a play about sexual slavery, in the Victoria Fringe Festival from August 24 to September 3.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jo Ann Lawrence (February 1, 2012). "Police arrest Victoria man for pimping out underage prostitute". Beacon News. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Louise Dickson (May 30, 2012). "Pimp who sold girl, 15, for sex gets three years". Times Colonist. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "West Shore RCMP charge Victoria man with prostituting teen girl". Sooke News Mirror. February 1, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "B.C. Man Charged With Prostituting 16-Year-Old Girl Online". The Huffington Post. February 1, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Katie DeRosa (February 1, 2012). "Victoria man charged with prostituting 16-year-old girl on Internet sex sites". National Post. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "Man charged with prostituting 16-year-old girl online". The Globe and Mail. February 1, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Man accused of prostituting teen remains behind bars". Goldstream Gazette. February 16, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bail delayed for man accused of prostituting teen". Goldstream Gazette. February 9, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Man charged with offering 16-year-old girl as prostitute on Internet sites". Toronto Star. February 1, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ "B.C. man charged with prostituting 16-year-old girl online". CBUT-DT. February 1, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Moving play, She Has a Name, comes with a message". Victoria News. February 16, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2012.