May 18th, 2024

Sex charges in human trafficking case withdrawn

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on May 7, 2024.


Several sex-related charges against a Lethbridge man were withdrawn Monday after he agreed to sign a common law peace bond.

During a brief hearing in Lethbridge court of justice, Fadi Chtewi consented to enter into the 12-month peace bond and acknowledge that without it, there is a risk that he would breach the peace.

“So you acknowledge there was a breach of peace and that, without a peace bond, it could happen again? Justice Kristin Ailsby asked.

“That is correct,” Calgary lawyer Leanndria Halcro agreed.

A peace bond is a form of resolution in which criminal charges are withdrawn without a finding of guilt. As a result of the charges being withdrawn, the accused will not have a criminal conviction for the alleged offences, but he must keep the peace and obey any conditions placed on him for a specific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

“Between the days of June 1, 2021 and Aug. 6, 2021, the accused and (the complainant) were in Lethbridge in the accused’s vehicle,” Crown Prosecutor Mykel Long told the judge. “While together in the backseat of the vehicle, the accused grabbed (the complainant’s) head and applied pressure to it without her consent.”

Chtewi, who previously elected to be tried by a Court of King’s Bench judge, was facing two charges 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 to have a preliminary hearing on March 4, but the matter was vacated by request of the Crown.

Chtewi must pay $1,000 if he breaches any of the conditions of the peace bond. He is required keep the peace, live at a specific residence on the westside, avoid any contact with two women and not go near their residences, workplaces, schools or churches. He must also receive treatment, as well as counselling relating to boundaries and consent.

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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awesome justice – the victims must feel so respected and protected. females may feel let down by the system, again, but, hey, more important is that a person perpetrating violence upon another – a minor, no less – should be able to do so with as little legal intervention as is possible. may as well have tossed the weapons issues aside at the same time…but, seeing as the courts are hardly busy, and there is more money to be made for lawyers and the like, i guess it is better that gets a bunch of new court days…and postponements.
once again, when it comes to violent crimes, the system most respects the perpetrator, while disrespecting victims, and the idea that sentences need to consider the idea of deterrence.

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