Windsor man to be sentenced in January for human trafficking
File photo of the Superior Court of Justice in Windsor, Ont., Nov.19, 2013. (Melanie Borrelli / CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Forty-five-year-old Zuhair Gorges was convicted in June of kidnapping, human trafficking, assault with a weapon, assault and uttering threats.
He was found not guilty of threatening others, by Justice Christine Malott.
The offences date back to May 2018, when Assistant Crown Attorney Jayme Lesperance says Gorges kidnapped a woman and assaulted her until she agreed to enter prostitution, for Gorges’ financial gain.
“She was cut with a knife, her wrists and ankles were zip-tied together and she was beaten. This violent attack left the victim terrorized,” according to Lesperance.
The woman's identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban on reporting her name or any evidence that could identify her.
At a sentencing hearing on Dec.14, Lesperance says the woman read a “powerful” victim impact statement explaining her continued suffering caused by Gorges.
“This attack has taken a devastating toll on her physical and mental health,” says Lesperance.
He is asking Justice Malott for a global sentence of 6.5 years, minus pre-sentence custody.
Lesperance says the minimum mandatory sentence for kidnapping and human trafficking is five years.
That’s the sentence the defence is seeking for Gorges.
Georges’ lawyer, Dan Scott tells CTV News these offences were committed “over a very short duration, measured in hours.”
Scott says Gorges plans to appeal his conviction once he is sentenced by Justice Malott.
She has reserved her decision for Jan. 29, 2021.
“The exploitation of vulnerable members of society is deplorable, parliament has made that clear with the mandatory minimum sentence being 5 years (in) jail,” says Lesperance. “And for this violent attack, we argued the appropriate sentence is well above the minimum sentence in the range of 6.5 years less pre-sentence custody.”