Lengthy sentences sought for men who forced teen into sex trade
Published Thursday, December 7, 2017 5:32PM EST Last Updated Thursday, December 7, 2017 7:02PM EST
A 17-year-old girl teared up Thursday as she tried to explain what being forced into the sex trade had done to her life.
The girl was speaking to a Stratford courtroom via video link, at the sentencing hearing for two of the three men found guilty in connection with her case.
Jurors ruled that Dylan Hird was the ringleader of the group, using social media to lure the teen, supplying her with drugs and forcing her to have sex with men while staying at a motel on Weber Street in Kitchener over the course of five days. He was convicted of charges including sexual interference and forcible confinement.
Jaden Alexis-McLymon was found guilty of procuring a child to enter prostitution, human trafficking and receiving a material benefit from trafficking.
All three men were arrested in 2015. The girl, who was 15 years old at the time, had managed to secretly call 911 and escape to a nearby grocery store.
During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, the girl said that the actions of the men had left her feeling as though a piece of herself was missing.
“I’m not sure if I’ll ever get it back,” she said.
“I fear for my security. I feel that people are after me. The last time I had to go to Kitchener, I panicked.”
Not long after that, she burst into tears and was unable to finish speaking.
The Crown is seeking an 12-year prison sentence for Hird and an eight-year sentence for McLymon, while both defence lawyers are arguing for the minimum sentence of five years in prison. A decision is expected in February.
McLymon maintains that he is innocent. Seeing a CTV News crew outside the courthouse after the sentencing hearing, he yelled out that the authorities had been “railroading” him.
The third man found guilty in connection with the case, Anthony Elgin, will have a separate sentencing hearing in January.
With reporting by CTV Kitchener’s Nicole Lampa