Halifax, Nova Scotia - Admitted gang member, Owen Gibson-Skeir, age 21, used a 14-year-old girl as sex slave then sold her out to other men for sex. For that crime and others stemming from it, he was sentenced to only seven years in prison on Friday, after his lawyer argued that he had a rough upbringing.
According to CTV News, the victim met OwenGibson-Skeir online in late 2015. He is known on the streets as Staxx, which is street slang for a pile of money. Eventually Staxx, who was 20 at the time, took her to meet his parents.
And shortly afterward, Gibson-Skier began raping and beating the victim. By January 2016, Gibson-Skeir was selling the child out as a sex slave. Gibson-Skeir took explicit photos of the victim, posted them on a classified website, and then arranged all of her 'liaisons,' mostly at local hotels and an apartment.
Gibson-Skeir kept all of the money that the victim 'earned' and she had to steal food and clothing. He would slap her face, pull her hair, slam her against a refrigerator, choke her so forcefully that he left handprints on her throat to keep her in line.
Sometimes the men that the victim had sex with would ask her how old she was. The Crown attorney said that no one reported it to anyone, and no one did anything about it.
At one point, the victim was injured in a traffic crash and hospital staff noticed that she had been cutting herself. She was kept in the hospital for six days. Her family tried to intervene but she went back to Gibson-Skeir with a cast on her arm. He told her that she couldn't make any money looking like that so he pulled the cast off.
The pain from having the cast pulled off was too much for the victim who fled back to her family. Her family called the police.
Only her ordeal was not over. Owen Gibson-Skeir began sending messages to the victim, threatening her, and telling her to come back to her 'daddy.' When nothing worked, he demanded a $10,000 exit fee and sent her parents a picture of himself holding a gun. A clear threat on their lives if they didn't pay up.
The Crown attorney said that "there is nothing more heinous, more offensive and degrading than the selling of children for sexual services. That's as low as humanity gets."
Owen Gibson-Skeir was arrested in 2016 and pleaded guilty to three charges - two related to human trafficking and one count of sexual assault. He blamed his actions on his 'rough upbringing' before he was sent to a foster home. He had 59 criminal convictions, including past robbery and firearms offenses.
He was the first person ever convicted of human trafficking in the Provence under "tough" laws implemented a decade ago.
His sentence was reduced to five years and six months to account for time already spent in jail. As he left the courtroom on Friday, he looked at the victim, who was sitting with her family in the back of the courtroom. He made a gesture as if he were firing a gun in her direction.
Owen Gibson-Skeir was charged with uttering threats and intimidating justice officials, which are pending.
It's unbelievable that a known gang member with 59 previous convictions was able to freely walk the streets of Halifax and prey on this teenage victim. There are no excuses for this behavior, only a belief that he thinks he is above the law and it doesn't apply to him. People like this need to be removed from society in order to protect more potential victims. Sadly, it won't be too long before he's back on the streets.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family.
Do you think that this is justice for the victim? We'd like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.