Calgary man charged in human trafficking investigation involving 15-year-old girl
A 21-year-old Calgary man is facing several charges related to human trafficking after he allegedly sexually exploited a 15-year-old girl.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) alleges that Benjamin Loewen targeted vulnerable teens girls in Calgary.
"We believe the accused was … Forcing them into sexual situations, directing their movements, advertising sexual services and taking their money," said Cpl. Wayne Williams in a Tuesday news release.
The investigation by ALERT identified a single 15-year-old victim, but officers are looking to speak with other people who may have information about the accused.
"It is our understanding that this has been occurring for the past year and we have reason to believe that he may have exploited others," Williams said.
The victim is receiving support from ALERT's safety network coordinator, who provides supports to survivors of sexual abuse.
Loewen is charged with the following:
- Sexual interference;
- Material benefit from sexual services of a person under 18;
- Drug trafficking;
- Making child pornography;
- Distribution of child pornography; and
- Extortion by threats.
He has been released from custody pending his next court appearance, which is scheduled for June 16.
ALERT is working with the Calgary Police Service’s child abuse unit on the investigation, which began in March 2023.
Victims of sexual assault can report it to the Calgary Police Service by calling 403-266-1234, or 911 if they are in immediate danger.
"We want to reassure other survivors that it is safe to come forward and that their information is valuable," Williams said.
In Canada, there is no time limit on how long a victim has to report a sexual assault.