Serious charges dropped against Toronto man

A Crown prosecutor has withdrawn a slew of charges, including human trafficking, sexual assault and forcible confinement, against a Toronto man accused of forcing a woman to work as a prostitute and living off her earnings, says Toronto criminal lawyer Roots Gadhia.

Jordan Michael Lynch, Gadhia’s client, has pleaded guilty to assault and theft and was handed a suspended sentence, with 90 days of pretrial custody to be attributed, and one year of probation.

“I’m really pleased that the Crown saw fit to reduce the charges to what was a more appropriate prosecution in this case,” says Gadhia.

Lynch was arrested in May 2011 and charged with assault and theft after stealing Amber Brown’s laptop and getting into a physical altercation with her, says Gadhia.

An investigation into Lynch then began, led by the York Regional Police, Gadhia says, noting in October 2011, he was charged with multiple offences, including human trafficking, two counts of sexual assault, forcible confinement, uttering death threats and living on the avails of prostitution.

At a preliminary hearing in February 2012, one of the sexual assault charges was dropped, along with the human trafficking charge, she says. A three-week trial was then set to address the other charges, but on Monday, all but the assault and theft were withdrawn.

“The fact that they would withdraw so many serious charges to such an extent tells me the Crown recognized the complainant wasn’t a credible witness,” says Gadhia.

While satisfied with the outcome of the case, Gadhia says it should have been resolved sooner.

“Part of the problem here is there doesn’t seem to be enough resources spent at the front end of cases to determine whether or not there’s a reasonable prospect of conviction,” she says.

“Nothing has changed since the preliminary hearing except that the complainant was reluctant to testify,” says Gadhia. “I think that could have been assessed after the preliminary hearing. They could have discussed that with the complainant a long time ago and saved everybody a lot of time.”

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