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Newspaper stories ruined pimp's 'good reputation,' lawsuit claims
Human trafficker Reza Moazami exits Vancouver provincial courtroom in this Dec. 2011 file photo.
A violent pimp currently serving 18 years in prison has filed a lawsuit alleging some of the newspaper coverage of his trial besmirched his name.
Reza Moazami was found guilty on dozens of charges in September 2014, including sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual interference and human trafficking offences. His 11 victims ranged in age from 14 to 19 years old.
The shocking details that came out in Moazami's trial drew widespread media attention, but a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court last month alleges not all of that coverage was fair.
"Words published in the Vancouver Sun Newspaper and National Post Newspaper ruined [Moazami's] good reputation and character," the suit claims.
"Words used… were either directly or inadvertently defamatory especially given that many of the alleged accusations were proven false in court."
The lawsuit does not outline which specific aspects of the reporting were unfair, or which accusations were proven false. It only lists dates the newspapers ran stories that allegedly defamed Moazami: four for the Sun and six for the Post.
The convict is seeking $250,000, costs and any other relief the court “may deem just and equitable.”
Postmedia, which owns both newspapers, has not filed a statement of defence in the case, and the Vancouver Sun declined to comment Monday. None of the allegations in the claim have been proven in court.
Moazami was acquitted on a handful of the charges against him, including three counts of procuring his victims into prostitution, but he was convicted of 30 others. Those included additional counts of procuring for prostitution and living off the avails of prostitution.
Among the disturbing facts heard in the case was that the pimp would abuse the girls physically to get them to comply with his demands. In some cases he would also attack a small dog that was beloved by his victims to force their cooperation, the court heard.
He was sentenced to 23 years behind bars, but given five years' credit for time already served.