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Old 05-01-2019, 08:12 AM
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Default Sudbury human trafficing

I know its far away, but in the news

Human trafficker convicted (The Sudbury Star)

Raymond Lincoln has been convicted of six of the eight offences he was facing in a human trafficking trial held in March and April in Greater Sudbury.

On Tuesday, Superior Court Justice Robbie Gordon, who had reserved his decision in the case, found Lincoln guilty of three charges concerning one woman and three charges concerning a second woman, but not guilty of two charges relating to a third woman.

Lincoln, now 50 and in custody, was facing three counts of sexual assault involving three different women; three counts of material benefit from sexual services involving the same three women; and two counts of advertising sexual services involving two of the women.

The eight offences are alleged to date back to Nov. 1, 2015 and run through to June 30, 2017.

The now-quashed classified website www.backpages.com was where Lincoln allegedly featured the three women in the Greater Sudbury escort section as offering sexual services under titles such as “Jewels,” “young, hot French student,” and “beautiful Alexa here to please.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S., incidentally, shut down the website in April of 2018.

“In my view, the evidence provided by (the first woman) was reliable and credible,” said Gordon in his decision. “She admitted to drug addiction, admitted to introducing a friend to Raymond Lincoln, accepted responsibility for all these things, and did not try to place the blame elsewhere. I am not left with any reasonable doubt about the evidence of (the first woman). She was adamant she was sexually assaulted by him. She gave her evidence sincerely.”

Gordon said he was also convinced beyond a reasonable doubt Lincoln benefited from the woman’s escort work, as he was the one who set up an online advertisement for her, provided a place to work, and even allowed her access to his backpages account.

The judge also found the second woman to be “a credible and reliable witness,” that she was sexually assaulted by Lincoln, and it was Lincoln who set her up to work as an escort.

“I found her to be compelling,” said Gordon. “Like (the first woman), she admitted a longstanding addiction to drugs. She blamed the reason for her actions on no one but herself. I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt Mr. Lincoln sexually assaulted her. I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt Mr. Lincoln received a financial benefit from her. He provided a room. He provided her with her backpages account. I am satisfied he was getting a percentage of sexual services she was providing.”

Concerning the third woman’s evidence, however, Gordon was not convinced Lincoln sexually assaulted her or benefitted from her work as an escort.

He noted that during part of the period the woman claimed to be purchasing drugs from Lincoln with her escort earnings, Lincoln was serving time in prison in southern Ontario.

“I am not satisfied Mr. Lincoln received financial benefit from the sexual services provided by (the third woman),” said Gordon.

A date for Crown and defence sentencing submissions to be made will be set at the May 7 Superior assignment court.

The six guilty findings came after a long and complicated trial.

Just prior to final submissions being made, Gordon rejected a Crown “similar fact evidence” application to allow for all evidence at the trial to apply to all eight charges.

“This case paints a picture of exploiting, controlling and using violence against women,” said assistant Crown attorney Stephanie Baker, in her similar fact evidence argument. “The (alleged) sexual assaults demonstrate a pattern of behaviour: he didn’t take no for an answer. He is involved by creating the (online escort) accounts. He is involved by taking a cut. This isn’t a friend who is providing drugs. It speaks to a pattern of behaviour. That pattern makes each (victim’s) story more reliable. This is about very similar pieces of evidence that take away the possibility it was concocted or co-incidence.”

Michel said allowing the principle of similar fact evidence to apply in the trial would be very prejudicial to his client.

In his final submissions, defence lawyer Denis Michel said there were questions about consent being given with the alleged sexual assaults, and in the case of the third woman who testified at the trial, there was “no material benefit. He (Lincoln) is simply a person that is selling drugs (to her).”

Baker, meanwhile, said the three women who testified were all tied into Lincoln as a provider of drugs, the money coming from the sex services they performed as escorts.

While he called no defence witnesses, Michel filed with the court a copy of a letter from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services indicating Lincoln was in custody from Feb. 1, 2016 to July 1 of the same year.

Michel said he was not filing the letter as an alibi, but in relation to the credibility of the third woman the trial heard testimony from.

That letter was in connection with a point raised by Michel the day before that Lincoln was in custody in Penetanguishene concerning a drug matter during the period.

Gordon did allow the Crown to put in a series of text messages between Greater Sudbury Police Det.-Const. Shannon Murray and one of the women in the spring and early summer of 2017 as evidence, not an exhibit.

That inclusion followed much debate by Michel and the Crown team, with Michel arguing the texts were already part of the trial. But the Crown was concerned that Michel might argue in his closing submissions that two of the women colluded and fabricated allegations in the summer of 2017 that led to Lincoln’s arrest.

After a short recess and meeting privately with Lincoln, Michel told Gordon he would not go down the fabrication route in his closing submissions.

“It was never our intent as part of Mr. Lincoln’s case to allege recent fabrication,” he said. “I will make every effort not to cross that bridge.”

The trial went five days and saw a total of five Crown witnesses, including Murray and the alleged three female victims.

Each of the women said they were forced to have sex with Lincoln, in two of the instances condoms not being used, and that they would use their sex service monies to buy drugs such as cocaine or fentanyl from him.

One woman, the court heard, was in the area of the Sudbury Courthouse when Lincoln was appearing in bail court in mid-July of 2017 and was recognized by Murray through a photograph in the case.

The woman ended up providing a video statement to police and, as a result, additional charges were laid against Lincoln.

That woman testified that while she was involved in sex trade work prior to meeting Lincoln she was assisted by him through his taking care of providing a room (she would repay him), and most of the $500,000 she earned in 2016 went to Lincoln to purchase drugs.

A second woman testified that in the brief time she did escort work set up by Lincoln, she was instructed on how to do it.

“I was told from the get-go, ‘say $140-160,’ ” she recalled. “I told a couple of people I had a pimp and they didn’t like that. They would stop seeing me.”

The woman said she did the escort work “to pay off her drug debt and to feed my drug addiction.”

She said she knew who Lincoln was before she became involved with him.

The woman also said that on one occasion, she was with forced to have sexual intercourse with Lincoln. She said he ordered her to get undressed while he got undressed and began putting on a condom.

Both she and a friend who had introduced her to Lincoln in 2017, and was doing escort work through him at the time, went to Greater Sudbury Police in early July of 2017 and gave statements, leading to Lincoln’s arrest.

That other woman testified Lincoln forced her to have sexual intercourse with him despite her objections one night in late 2016, and he did not use a condom.

That woman, who was driving other women around at the time for Lincoln, the trial heard, moved on to dominatrix work on telephones and then sexual services for cash via an escort advertisement on backpages.com.

The woman estimated that of the $20,000 she made as an escort, some $13,000 went to Lincoln.

The trial heard Lincoln was arrested July 11, 2017 by police and charged with offences relating to two women associated to him. Keys in his possession were used by officers to check out two Ramsey View Court apartment building units connected to him.

“It almost looked too clean,” recalled Murray, of what was found in one apartment. “There were air fresheners hanging from the ceiling, a massage table in the apartment.”
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