|An Ottawa Police service vehicle drives past the Ottawa Courthouse heading north on Elgin Street in Ottawa, Ont., on Sept 30, 2004. (QMI Agency/SEAN KILPATRICK)
OTTAWA - The worst thing about a former teen prostitute who helped pimp out an underage girl is that she victimized someone as she'd been victimized herself, said the judge who nonetheless spared her any more jail time Monday.
Katharine Edwards, 23, was in the midst of a preliminary hearing on human trafficking charges along with co-accused Jamie Byron but pleaded guilty to the much-reduced charge of procuring prostitution.
Byron, 22, is still before the courts facing a string of charges.
Edwards admitted negotiating a $280 fee for a variety of sex acts between the 17-year-old girl and a john who turned out to be an undercover cop.
"What's aggravating is she was victimizing a person who was in the same personal situation she had found herself in some years earlier," Judge Robert Fournier said.
Fournier handed the first-time offender a nine-month conditional sentence - which was the Crown's position - that she'll be able to serve at her Toronto home on top of the 45 days she spent behind bars awaiting bail. She was also given a year of probation.
Edwards was living in east-end Toronto when she met Byron, who she understood was pimping the girl at hotels in Toronto and Barrie, Ont.
All three went to Ottawa last August and Edwards helped Byron, who gave her cash, beer and cigarettes, by driving him to pick up money from the girl - and once doing it herself.
She also answered cellphones when would-be johns responded to Internet ads and direct the men to a room at the Extended Stay Hotel on Cooper St.
"She gets to the point where she's negotiating with an undercover officer, knowing he's going to come in and have sexual intercourse, anal intercourse and (oral sex with) with a girl who's been victimized by prostitution," Crown attorney Julien Lalande said.
Her lawyer, Joe Addelman, asked for a suspended sentence, arguing his client has a troubled history in which brutal sexual abuse at age 13 sent her down the path to prostitution.
"We don't have to go too far back in time when Ms. Edwards was the 16 or 17-year-old prostitute being exploited by other individuals," Addelman said.
She's remorseful, worked full time while out on bail and is in counselling to deal with her own abuse, which she plans to report to police.
Fournier told Edwards that she may be able to find "closure" if she "brings the people who victimized her to justice."