AUCKLAND – A 30-year-old Stockton man has been charged with trafficking a teenage girl who ran away from home after she was arrested in a prostitution ring and turned to police for help.
Demaria Canada was charged Sept. 16 with human trafficking of a minor, pumping a child, and ambush. The allegations stem from an undercover operation on International Boulevard on September 13, where police arrested a girl under the age of 15 and took her into custody.
The girl allegedly told authorities she had been in a “close relationship” with Canada for a month and wanted to be his boyfriend. He said he took her all over California, including the Bay Area, for sex trafficking purposes. Catherine Raymondo wrote in the court record.
“Also, (the girl) shared and contacted her location (Canada) via cell phone,” Raymondo wrote in a possible reason statement filed in court. “(The girl) said (Canada) also protected her when other brokers tried to talk to her while she was working.”
Police determine the girl ran away from home in another part of California, and tricked Canada into bringing her to the police station: Raymondo called on his cell phone and advised Canada that the girl was a dangerous person. A responsible adult has been released, officials said.
Authorities say Canada was arrested around 9pm on September 13 when they arrived at the city’s police station to pick up the girl. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was jailed in Santa Rita on Friday for 405,000 bail.
He is due to appear in a Canadian court on November 12, where a judge will review the evidence and determine whether it is sufficient to order a trial.