Ontario police arrest 100 men in child prostitution case

An apparent huge child sex ring has been broken up with arrest of more than 100 men in York Region. -Sgt. Thai Truong said 104 men were arrested as first time offenders in the investigation from 2014 to April 2017 for negotiating "the purchase of a prostituted child between the ages of 13 and 16 years old".

Of the hundreds of men who had responded to the infiltrators' advertisements, most stopped contacting them when they discovered that they appeared to be in contact with underage girls.

The four-year operation, dubbed Project Raphael, zeroed in on men who sought sex for money from girls whom they believed were between 14 and 16 years old.

"The biggest challenge for us when we're dealing with prostituted children is that enlisting their co-operation is very, very hard", Truong said at a news conference north of Toronto in Aurora, Ont.

Police targetted pimps, focused on rescuing victims and connecting them with community support workers and attempted to stop the demand for child prostitutes.

The arrested men came from all walks of life, Truong said.

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"I have a really cool truck with bunk beds in the back we could have lots of fun".

No details about the men have been released, including their names, nor have police outlined the nature of the charges they face.

Of the 104 arrests, 32 of the suspects had pleaded guilty with sentences ranging from three to seven months.

"Almost all of these men did not have a criminal record, had stable jobs, families and were not the kind of people that would normally be seen in the criminal justice system", she said.

Orlando leads a recently formed team of Crown attorneys who specialize in human trafficking cases across Ontario.

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