A Toronto police officer is among 10 men charged with the alleged sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old girl in connection with a human trafficking investigation in the Pape and Cosburn avenues area.
Police began an investigation into the incidents involving the victim in November of 2019. Between March and May of this year, the Toronto Police Service’s Human Trafficking Team launched Project One Six “in an effort to identify, locate and arrest those who had purchased sexual services from the girl,” police said in a media release on the morning of Friday, June 12.
One of the 10 men charged was identified in this morning’s media release as Const. Peter Roberts, 49, an 11-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service who most recently served in 51 Division. He was charged on March 13 of this year with obtaining sexual services for consideration from persons under 18 years of age. He is currently suspended with pay, the release said.
Nine other men ranging in age from 19 to 45 are also facing the same charge. To see the full Toronto Police Service media release on these charges, please go to http://torontopolice.on.ca/newsreleases/47327
According to Toronto police, human trafficking means “every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation, for a sexual purpose or a forced labour purpose. Victims can be men, women or children; can be Canadian citizens; and can be moved across local, provincial or national borders. They can be coerced through violence or the threat of violence against family and friends.”
The Toronto Police Service’s Human Trafficking Team of the Sex Crimes Unit is “dedicated to investigating these crimes against vulnerable members of society.” Police urge anyone who has been a victim of human trafficking to come forward to police so that they have access to support services and an exit strategy “regardless of their decision to proceed criminally.”
Anyone with more information on this incident, or other cases of human trafficking or sexual exploitation, is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477 or online at https:www.222tips.com