B.C.’s Court of Appeal upheld 30 convictions connected to the sex trafficking of females under 18 Sept. 8.
Reza Moazami appealed the 2014 convictions stemming from a 36-count indictment involving prostitution-related, sexual and human trafficking offences against 11 female complainants between the ages of 14 and 19 committed between 2009 and 2011. Nine of the complainants were under the age of 18 years at the time of the offences.
In a separate decision, the court also threw out an appeal of a conviction of obstruction of justice and breach of a no-contact order.
Moazami was sentenced to just under 18 years.
The girls had worked as prostitutes in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, Nanaimo, Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal.
The court heard tales of violence, intimidation and exploitation as well as the drugging of victims.
“The judge found Mr. Moazami’s actions to some of the complainants were cruel and coercive and met the predatory standards demanded by the offences on which she convicted,” the appeal court said.
The court found Moazami had not established a miscarriage of justice.
The Vancouver Police Department’s Special Investigation Section — Counter Exploitation Unit, which handles situations involving violence, exploitation, youth, and human trafficking, did the Moazami investigation.
James Fisher was the lead investigator but later pleaded guilty to one count of breach of trust by kissing one victim in 2015 and one count each of sexual exploitation and breach of trust involving another. He received a 20-month sentence on the convictions.
“A senior police officer assisting a young, traumatized crime victim took advantage of his position to initiate sexual contact with her,” the court said in its 2019 dismissal of Fisher’s appeal.
In his appeal, Moazami argued that Fisher’s conduct resulted in a miscarriage a justice, an abuse of process regarding his trial rights brought into question the integrity of the justice system, the appeal decision said.
The Crown argued that ordering new trial would harm the victims.
The case was British Columbia's first human trafficking case related to minors.