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article imageOntario girl, 15, rescued during traffic stop, man charged

By Arthur Weinreb     Feb 22, 2014 in Crime
While conducting a routine traffic stop, York Regional police officers noticed a young girl in the car who was not related to the driver. Americo Magana faces several prostitution-related offences.
On Thursday at 4:40 p.m., police in York Region noticed a vehicle that had an expired validation sticker. After the car was pulled over in the area of Keele Street and Hwy 407, just north of Toronto, the officers noticed a 15-year-old girl in the back seat of the vehicle. She was not related to the driver.
A brief investigation determined the man and the girl had just left a motel where the 31-year-old Magana had lured the girl to. They had sex and Magana had promised to pay her. The case was then handed over to York Regional Police Drugs and Vice investigators.
Magana faces charges of [PDF] sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, luring a child, luring a child for the purpose of prostitution, obtaining the sexual services of a person under the age of 18, procuring to have illicit sexual intercourse, and procuring to become a prostitute.
The girl was taken to a nearby hospital to be checked out and then returned to her parents.
Mugshots of those who are arrested are not generally released to the public in Canada unless police are looking for someone or they believe there may be more victims. Yesterday, York Regional Police released Magana's photo as they believe there may be more child victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact them.
Magana's arrest came one day after police in York Region announced the results of Operation Home for Christmas [PDF]. The operation was begun in December to try and find underage girls who were forced into prostitution and to get them home for Christmas. The operation continued throughout January. As well, police were looking for women who were working in the sex trade as a result of violence, threats of violence or intimidation.
On Wednesday, police announced [PDF] 10 men had been arrested and face a total of more than 120 charges including human trafficking, forcible confinement and exercise control.
According to police, 31 girls and women were rescued during December and January. Of the 31, 29 percent were under the age of 18.
Magana appeared in court on Friday and was remanded in custody. He is due to appear in court again on Monday.
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