Calgary… A 21-year-old Calgary man is facing additional charges in connection with an ALERT human trafficking investigation which began earlier this year.
In May 2023, investigators became aware of the accused targeting teen girls in the Calgary area and sexually exploiting them. At the time, one 15-year-old victim was identified.
Police have since been able to identify three additional victims, each between the ages of 16 and 18, leading to additional charges being laid earlier this month.
Benjamin Loewen, 21-years of Calgary, faces new 12 charges, including:
“We’ve continued with our investigation and believe that he was actively exploiting these teens, and other girls as well. We’re releasing his photo now in hopes to encourage other survivors to come forward and share any information they have with police,” said Staff Sgt. Colleen Bowers, ALERT Human Trafficking.
All victims receive access to necessary support and resources. A Safety Network Coordinator works in partnership with the ALERT unit to provide enhanced supports to survivors.
“It’s important that his victims know about Bill C-36. The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act makes it illegal for a third party to benefit from a person who is working in the sex trade, or is being sexually exploited,” Bowers added.
Loewen remains on house arrest with various conditions as he awaits his next court date, scheduled for August 28, 2023.
The Calgary Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service and FINTRAC have assisted throughout the investigation.
Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to call the Calgary Police Service or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
ALERT encourages anyone who believes they are a victim of sexual assault or abuse to report it to police. Victims of sexual assault can report it to the Calgary Police Service by calling 403-266-1234, or 9-1-1 if they are in immediate danger. There is no time limit on how long a victim has to report a sexual assault in Canada.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.