Convicted pimp plans to represent himself in appeal involving disgraced cop
The first person ever convicted of human trafficking in British Columbia has four appeals underway, and on Wednesday announced in B.C. Supreme Court that he would like to represent himself in at least one of them.
Reza Moazami is serving 18 years in prison after being convicted of 30 charges, including sexual assault, sexual interference and human trafficking.
In a separate case, he was also sentenced to three years for attempting to obstruct justice by trying to bribe one of his victims while in jail awaiting trial.
One of the witness co-ordinators and victim support workers in the case, former Vancouver police detective Jim Fisher, later pleaded guilty himself to two counts of breach of trust and one count of sexual exploitation for kissing two vulnerable young witnesses in pimping and sex trafficking cases.
Fisher was sentenced to 20 months behind bars and two years' probation, and is also facing civil suits from the two victims, who are also victims of Moazami.
Moazami’s appeals centre around allegations of abuse of process by the Vancouver Police Department because of Fisher’s criminal actions.
In court Wednesday, lawyer Tom Arbogast said Moazami had requested to represent himself going forward in his appeal on the obstruction of justice conviction.
Moments earlier, sheriffs led Moazami, dressed in a grey T-shirt, jeans and sandals, into the courtroom in handcuffs. He was carrying a box of documents.
When he briefly addressed the court, he expressed frustration that the appeal process is taking a long time, saying there had been too many adjournments.
Moazami did say he would like to keep Arbogast on in a limited capacity to help him because it is difficult for him to file documents from prison.
Arbogast agreed to continue to work with Arbogast and advise him while he represents himself.
Court records show his 11 victims ranged in age from 14 to 19, and that on average they had sex with a dozen men per day, sometimes including Moazami himself.
"Mr. Moazami regarded free sex with his prostitutes as a perk to being their pimp," B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Bruce wrote in her reasons for sentencing in 2014.
His next court appearance on the obstruction appeal is scheduled for October.