18-year-old from Montreal forced to work as escort by Calgary man: police

By News Staff

Police allege an 18-year-old Montreal woman was rescued from a home in Winnipeg last week after being forced to work as an escort in multiple Canadian cities by a man who tricked her into thinking they were in a romantic relationship together.

Winnipeg police say they were contacted Thursday about a possible victim of human trafficking by police in Quebec, who earlier in the day were tipped off by the victim’s friend.

Police say they found the victim that same day at a short-term vacation rental downtown on Hargrave Street. Also in the suite was a 24-year-old male suspect who was arrested, police say.

Counter-exploitation unit investigators allege the suspect met the victim at a bar in Montreal in January and he “manipulated her to believe they were involved in a romantic relationship,” Winnipeg police said in a news release.

Investigators say the woman was taken to four Ontario cities this month before ending up in Winnipeg. The suspect kept the victim’s personal ID and cell phone, and she could not leave the hotel rooms or vacation rentals, police say. The suspect physically assaulted the victim to prevent her from leaving on multiple occasions, according to police.

“Investigators learned the suspect procured the victim to work for him as an escort selling sexual services,” Winnipeg police said. “The suspect created and posted a social media advertisement of the victim offering sexual services. The suspect arranged meets between clients and the victim and collected sums of money from the sexual services provided.”

Calgary’s Malik Regele Marc has been charged with trafficking in persons, material benefit from sexual services, procuring person to provide sexual services, advertising sexual services, forcible confinement and assault. He was detained in custody.

The victim was taken back to Quebec “to the care of family members” after receiving support in Winnipeg.

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