Barrie father of 5 pleads guilty to trafficking young teen
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A Barrie man accused of trafficking a 15-year-old girl in 2018 pleaded guilty in court on Thursday.
Police say Eric Mejia-Gonzales used images of the girl online in the form of ads to attract customers on social media and through a Barrie escort website.
Police charged the accused, a father of five, with procuring the complainant for prostitution, making child pornography, and profiting from her sexual services, supplying the girl with shoes, clothing and cocaine while selling her to clients at a downtown Barrie motel.
At the time of his arrest, police alleged the man exploited the young Barrie girl in the sex trade and exercised control over her actions.
Mejia-Gonzales had been out on bail since his arrest in September 2018, and living at his parent's home in Toronto.
On Thursday, the court heard Mejia-Gonzales, 29, sold the girl's sexual services for $180 an hour and kept most of the money for himself.
The Crown suggested Mejia-Gonzales serve 18 months behind bars, while his lawyer asked for 12 months, noting his guilty plea spares the girl from testifying before a jury.
In submissions to Justice Michelle Fuerst, the Crown said an aggravating factor to consider was that Mejia-Gonzales took at face value the complainant was 20-years-old when, in fact, she was 15.
Justice Fuerst will deliver her sentencing decision to Mejia-Gonzales in person on Jan. 11.
A publication ban prevents the girl and her family from being identified.