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Manitoba RCMP arrest seven involved in human trafficking in Portage la Prairie

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Manitoba RCMP has arrested seven people and laid 65 charges in connection to a child exploitation and human trafficking investigation in Portage la Prairie.

According to RCMP, officers were told of a 15-year-old girl seen with older men around Portage la Prairie. Officers were able to find the girl in February, along with another 15-year-old girl, and learned they were being exploited in a human trafficking operation in the city.

Officers said an adult woman had befriended the girls and asked them to hang out with her friends to get drugs and money.

“These girls trusted in this adult female, and were taken with her to residences between June 2023 and December of 2023,” said Inspector Shawn Pike with RCMP’s Major Crime Services.

Pike said when the girls got to the home, a man provided them drugs in exchange for sexual acts.

“On many occasions, the youth were locked in the location by the adult female, who remained throughout the entire interaction,” he said. “Theses youths were not able to escape.”

Pike said the girls were coerced to perform sex acts for drugs and money. The woman also received payment in methamphetamine and cocaine.

Pike added exploitation and grooming of the girls occurred over Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.

Ten search warrants were executed in Portage between February and June 2024, seizing computers, phones and external hard drives, which are still being forensically examined. Officers also seized 13 firearms, methamphetamine and cocaine.

Chastity Nicole Assiniboine, 43, of Long Plain First Nation is charged with two counts of trafficking a person under the age of 18, four counts of child luring, two counts of uttering threats, and one count each of benefitting from sexual services provided by a person under 18, advertising sexual services and procuring a person under 18.

The remaining six suspects are from Portage la Prairie: Sean Michael Boak (40), David Guy Howard Taylor (40), Alexander Paul Lidster (39), Wesley Clayton Roulette (44), Frank Peter Justin Tecza (39) and Scott Joseph Taylor (34).

Boak, Roulette, Lidster, Tecza and David Taylor are charged with multiple charges, including sexual assault, sexual interference and child luring. Scott Taylor is charged with obtaining sexual services for consideration from a person under 18, and unsafe storage of firearms.

None of the charges have been proven in court.

The seven charged are all known to each other, RCMP said.

“This was a fairly organized operation, where the suspects used multiple platforms with the deliberate intent to exploit youths,” Pike said. “Our investigators believe there are more survivors.”

Pike said investigators determined a third girl, who they believe is 13 or 14 years old, was also exploited, and are looking to find her. Anyone with information can call RCMP’s tip line at 204-984-3129.

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