Sex trade victim vows to testify against alleged pimp
Published Friday, February 15, 2013 6:45PM PST
Last Updated Friday, February 15, 2013 7:23PM PST
Accused pimp Reza Moazami is facing new allegations he tried to threaten witnesses not to testify against him, but one of his alleged victims has told CTV News she’s still determined to take the stand.
In an exclusive interview, “Emma,” whose real name cannot be released, said she won’t shy away from the chance to tell her story when Moazami’s case goes to trial this spring.
“It’s very important because if everyone lets that fear eat away at them then he’s going to get what he wants,” she said. “There needs to be justice, and I think that every voice counts.”
Moazami was charged with luring a group of 11 young women and girls, including some as young as 14 years old, into prostitution two years ago. His case marked the first time anyone had been charged with trafficking underage girls in B.C.
He was released months later on $100,000 bail, which was secured by his mother, and ordered not to access the Internet or contact any of his alleged victims.
But police believe he broke both conditions in 2012 by posing as a woman on Facebook and trying to intimidate the girls out of testifying. He has since been charged with two additional counts: breaching bail and obstruction of justice.
Search warrant documents obtained by CTV News show investigators traced the IP address from the alleged Facebook communications to a condo owned by Moazami’s sister.
The accused’s lawyer Danny Markovitz said his client intends to plead guilty to accessing the Internet, but denies trying to threaten any of the alleged victims.
“His primary purpose in that was to see if they were still operating as prostitutes,” Markovitz said. “The Crown was suggesting that he indirectly tried to influence witnesses, whereas he’s saying he gave no direction to anybody.”
Two other people, Azita Nazemi and convicted murderer Babak Najafi-Chaghabouri, have also been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to threaten the girls, but the details of their alleged roles have not been made public.
Najafi-Chaghabouri is currently serving a life sentence for the axing death of Ronak Wagad.
Moazami’s trial is set to begin in June. Emma said she hopes the landmark case will expose how underage girls are being exploited right at home in B.C.
“I think it’s sick,” she said. “And the fact that the Johns, they know that these girls are underage and they still do it.”
None of the allegations against Moazami have been proven in court.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Mi-Jung Lee