Police arrest over 100 men in child prostitution sting

York Regional Police say the men attempted to purchase sex with an undercover officer, who posed as a girl between the ages of 13 and 16 online.

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.

Truong said child sex trafficking is a growing problem in Canada and that the average age of entry into the human trafficking sex trade is about 15 years old.

The project was made possible by a grant from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, police said.

Most of the arrests took place in York Region but the men who were arrested came from across the GTA and outside of Ontario, police said.

The investigation team in just three days of the investigation in 2017 nabbed 19 men, who believed that they were purchasing sex from either a 13-year-old or a 14-year-old child.

Of the 104 charged, 32 men have pleaded guilty, according to Susan Orlando, the provincial co-ordinator of the human trafficking prosecution team.

Investigators said almost all the men were first-time offenders, and had stable jobs and families.

Police will also provide information on how the investigation was launched and ongoing efforts to combat child sex trafficking.

"Young lives are irreparably damaged, some completely destroyed and other lost completely".

Police targeted men who searched for prostitutes online, but did not arrest men who were seeking sex with an adult.

Truong said the most hard part of the investigation was gaining the trust of the victims.

"All of the people caught in the sting were prepared to pay money to have sex with children", she said.

  • Wendy Palmer