Châteauguay man pleads guilty to the assault and sex trafficking of minors


Yassir Farhi’s lawyer said he and the Crown are likely to recommend a 45-month prison term in April.

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A 25-year-old Châteauguay resident is facing a sentence that will likely send him to a federal penitentiary after he pleaded guilty Monday to making two teenage girls — including an orphan who was under the care of youth protection services — work as prostitutes.

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While entering his guilty pleas to four charges at the Montreal courthouse before Quebec Court Judge Flavia Longo, Yassir Farhi also admitted he forced the two girls to commit fraud after they told him they no longer wanted work for him. His lawyer Rami El Turaby told the judge that he and the Crown will likely make a common suggestion that Farhi, who is out on bail, serves a 45-month prison term.

The attorney asked that a sentence hearing be delayed to allow Farhi to be present for the birth of his child.

Farhi pleaded guilty to receiving material benefits from sexual services provided by a person under 18 years old, advertising sexual services, attempting or causing a person to take a stupefying or overpowering drug, and assault.

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His guilty plea to the four charges canceled a trial that was scheduled to last eight days.

According to a joint statement of facts presented to the court, during the summer of 2018, Farhi and one of the victims, who was 17 at the time, were a couple. Her parents de ella had died and she was under the care of youth protection services. She introduced him to one of her friends of her, who was 16 at the time.

A publication ban has been placed on information that would identify the victims.

“Within three months you managed to destroy me from A to Z,” the woman said in court on Monday. “I don’t think you can understand the harm you have caused me and that I am still living with.”

She said she lives an isolated life because she is unable to trust anyone.

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“For the first 16 years of her life, our mission as parents was to protect her. You, in the space of a couple of months, managed to destroy all of that,” said the mother of the other victim. “When I think of my daughter’s broken heart in your hands, rage rises within me.”

On Nov. 30, 2018, Farhi gave the girls an alcoholic drink mixed with methamphetamine and took them to an Airbnb on Pie IX Blvd. There they were introduced to a friend of Farhi who was accompanied by a teenage girl who appeared to be younger than them.

According to the statement of facts, Farhi’s “friend explained how they would work a shift, that is to say provide sexual services, the rates they would charge and how they should collect the money in advance. While this was explained, Farhi was present and was following attentively.”

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In the days that followed, Farhi posted images of the girls on websites offering sexual services. For more than a week, the girls were used as prostitutes and gave the money clients paid them to Farhi.

He also supplied them with pills and assaulted the 16-year-old several times.

Two weeks after they were introduced to Farhi’s friend, the girls said they had had enough. Farhi ordered both to commit acts of fraud at two different banks and one of the girls was arrested.

Farhi’s case will enter the sentencing stage in April.

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