May 18th, 2024

Accused in human trafficking case wants charges resolved without trial


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on April 16, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge man charged in connection to a three-year-old human trafficking case and who has been living under strict release conditions, has had several of his conditions removed pending the expected resolution of his charges without the need for a trial.

Chief among the conditions is his 24-hour-a -day curfew, or house arrest, which the Crown removed Friday during a hearing in Lethbridge court of justice. The Crown also removed a condition that prohibited Fadi Chtewi from leaving Alberta, and she removed several exceptions to a condition which requires him to reside at a specific westside residence.

Chtewi, who previously elected to be tried by a Court of King’s Bench judge, is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault, and single counts of sexual assault, sexual contact with a child, sexual counsel of a child, sexual assault of a person under the age of 16, trafficking in persons, and being party to sexual assault.

Police reported in August 2021 that eight men and two youth from Lethbridge and Calgary selected and groomed a 15-year-old girl and took her to specific locations where sex offences occurred. A 13-year-old girl was also alleged to have been involved in sexual activity, and additional complainants came forward later in connection with the investigation.

Chtewi was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 4, but the matter did not proceed as expected by request of the Crown. The hearing was rescheduled for July 4, but during Friday’s court appearance Calgary lawyer Leanndria Halcro said the matter will ultimately be resolved by a peace bond.

A peace bond is a form of resolution in which criminal charges are withdrawn without a finding of guilt. As a result of the charges being withdrawn, the accused will not have a criminal conviction for the alleged offences, but he must keep the peace and obey any conditions placed on him for a specific period of time. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges.

The case is set to return to court on April 26 to schedule a date with the assigned Crown prosecutor to resolve the charges.

Chtewi also faces charges of mischief causing damage and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, both of which are unrelated to the human trafficking case.

Chtewi has been released on those charges with conditions, including that he behave himself and not have any contact with a specific individual. The accused is set to stand trial on both charges Aug. 6.

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biff

a peace bond?! of the 8 men that have been charged with sexual assault of minors, it does not appear any of them have had much in the way of criminal responsibility. the outcomes further seem to be devoid of respect for the victims, and, they further serve not as any deterrent, but as an invite to predators to groom and sexually traffic and assault minors.
8 accused and 2 victims, and it is the victims that remain on trial and without retribution.

knowlton

I agree. Strange.

Even if the two “victims” were willing participants… (remember, no kidnapping charges) … it’s still illegal based on their age.



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