At least two dozen human trafficking charges, including prostitution for allegedly pimping underage girls, were slapped against a 23-year old Halifax woman.
Tashlynn Marie Shaw appeared in Halifax provincial court on Thursday after two young girls pointed to her as the person "who had coerced (them) to continue working in the sex trade." The girls were under 16 years old.
"Our investigator in the vice unit received some information about a woman exercising control and coercing young girls into prostitution," CBC News quoted Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages. "One of these victims was seriously assaulted on two different occasions with a weapon."
Officers arrested Shaw at home on Wednesday.
The specific charges hurled against Shaw include:
- Trafficking a person under the age of 18, two counts.
- Material benefit, two counts.
- Invitation to sexual touching, two counts.
- Exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person to aid in prostitution, two counts.
- Living off the avails of prostitution of a person under the age of 18, two counts.
- Counselling a person under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution, two counts.
- Using intimidation or coercion in relation to someone under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution, two counts.
- Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, two counts.
- Assault with a weapon, two counts.
- Luring of a child under the age of 18.
- Assault causing bodily harm.
- Forcible confinement.
"In this specific investigation, we do believe there are more young ladies that have been taken control of by this individual, by Ms. Shaw," Bourdages said. "We do encourage anyone with information about any other victims - or any other victims themselves - to call police."
Police ask anyone with information about the case to call 490-5016 with any tips, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.