Sexual exploitation: women “liberated” during a police operation at the Motel Saint-Jacques

This Montreal motel is known for its prostitution and underage prostitution activities as well as drug and firearms trafficking. Several overdoses have also been reported at this location in recent years.

The police operation – one of the largest in the recent history of the Montreal Police Service (SPVM) – took place on June 20. To carry it out, the SPVM had to obtain a blocking order, a rare legal procedure which prevents the owner of a building from selling it or having access to their home for the duration of the proceedings.

In addition to stakeholders and social workers from the health network and the Assistance Center for Victims of Crime (CAVAC), around sixty police officers from various sections participated in the operation.

See Marie-Michelle Lauzon’s report in the video opposite.

The Tactical Intervention Group was the first to intervene on site. They found four people unconscious and intoxicated in an apartment.

Subsequently, around ten women, aged between 18 and 35, were found in several apartments. Some were allegedly sexually exploited and others showed serious health conditions.

All the people were taken care of by the CIUSSS and CAVAC workers.

The motel owner and an employee were arrested. They face pimping and drug charges.

This operation occurred as part of the investigation led by the SPVM’s ACCESS and Proceeds of Crime section, which began last fall.

A situation out of control

Since the pandemic, the police have responded to calls related to this type of offense at the Motel Saint-Jacques. According to information obtained by Noovo Info, the situation had gotten out of control.

The police investigation began last fall. Evidence showed that there was ineffective management of the place and that several vulnerable people were exploited there.

Moreover, several tenants live in the motel full time. They will now have two weeks to find other accommodation. Resources are available to them, particularly to help them find new housing.

The Motel Saint-Jacques remains under the supervision of the SPVM until further notice.

For more details, see the report by Marie-Michelle Lauzon in the video opposite.

In collaboration with Émilie Clavel for Noovo Info

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