Halifax man charged with human trafficking, sex assault, child pornography

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A Halifax man is facing a litany of sex abuse and child pornography charges after two teens came forward to police to say they had been forced into prostitution.

Duncan Robertson Wright, 44, had been under investigation since Sunday and was arrested Thursday after police executed a search warrant at his house on Quartz Drive at 7:45 a.m.

The case involves three girls, aged 14, 16 and 17, who Wright allegedly "directed and influenced" for the purposes of prostitution, according to a police news release.

Crown prosecutor Catherine Cogswell told CBC News that Wright has no criminal record and was not on police radar until two of the teens came forward.

'They came looking for us'

"They came looking for us," she said of the alleged victims. "We didn't come looking for them."

Cogswell said the investigation is ongoing and she anticipates more charges and more complainants.

She said the case was unusual in that Wright allegedly used his own home rather than a hotel room, as is more typical in such cases.

"We allege that he sexually assaulted these three children, we allege that he materially benefited from pimping them out, for lack of a better word, from trafficking them," she said. "That he took pictures for the purposes of child pornography and that he distributed them." 

Long list of charges

Wright appeared in Halifax provincial court Thursday to face the following charges:

- Human trafficking of a person under the age of eighteen (two charges). 

- Sexual assault (three charges).

- Sexual interference.

- Invitation to sexual touching.

- Receiving material benefit from sexual services (two charges).

- Material benefit from trafficking a person under the age of 18 (two charges).

- Householder permitting sexual activity (two charges).

- Making child pornography (two charges).

- Distributing child pornography.

- Possession of child pornography (two charges).

- Keeping a common bawdy house (two charges).

Wright's next court appearance is a bail hearing on Tuesday, Cogswell said. She said the Crown will oppose his release.