Former Toronto cop arrested in human trafficking investigation pleads guilty to sex charges

A former Toronto police officer invoked his police status after hiring women for sexual services, an Ontario court heard Monday, which included showing his firearm to a woman and leaving her “terrified” and “lying” to another. that she witnessed. a bogus investigation.

On a third occasion, the off-duty cop took the license plate of a car that belonged to a woman who had agreed to meet for sexual services and then looked it up in a police database.

Travis Houston, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual solicitation in Ontario Court of Justice, seven months after he was arrested by the York Regional Police as part of a human trafficking investigation.

Houston, a Toronto police officer with two years on the job, resigned from service on Sept. 18. Before that, he was suspended with pay. Gary Clewley, a Houston attorney, declined to comment Monday.

According to an agreed statement of events read before Judge Nyron Dwyer, shortly before midnight on March 31, Houston went to an unnamed hotel to meet with a woman who worked as an escort. Although he was off duty, Houston brought his firearm, which was hidden at his waist.

When he got to the woman’s door, he moved his shirt to expose his gun, showed her his badge, and said he had to go inside. The court heard that she later began questioning her about her safety, if she had a pimp and if there were other women working with her.

The woman, whose name is covered by a publication ban, was “terrified,” the court heard.

“He later told the York Regional Police that he would not go to York again. She said she intended to work in the Peel region, although she understood that there were more pimps in Peel, because of how scared she was of Mr. Houston, ”the agreed statement of fact reads.

After about 15 to 20 minutes in the hotel room, the woman told Houston to leave.

Houston also used the same phone number to “engage in similar conduct” at another time, the court heard. This time, once inside the hotel room, Houston told the woman that he had arrested someone and that she was an eyewitness, and that she needed to accompany him to identify the suspect, according to the agreed statement of fact.

“He was lying. There was no investigation, suspect or arrest of which the complainant was a witness. Mr. Houston was not on duty at the time, ”the court heard.

When the woman refused to go with him, Houston left the hotel room.

On another occasion, Houston arranged to receive sexual services from a woman only to disagree with her via text message after arriving at the hotel. He never entered the hotel room, but took his car’s license plate and then checked it in a police database the next time he was on duty.

A search of two cell phones seized by York investigators revealed that Houston “arranged sexual services for consideration on many occasions,” the court heard.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and police for The Star. Contact her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis

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