Trio arrested in sex trafficking case of 15-year-old: ALERT

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Three Edmonton men are facing dozens of charges after being accused of trafficking a 15-year-old girl.

Investigators say what began as online grooming escalated to nude photography, before the teen was "steered into" the sex trade.

The two-month investigation began when Edmonton Police Service received a tip.

ALERT’s Human Trafficking and Counter Exploitation unit made the arrests, laying charges against the last of the suspects on June 29.

Together, 24-year-old Tyson Shaw, 26-year-old Islam Montasser and 30-year-old Amir Idris face 35 charges including trafficking a minor, advertising sexual services, making and distributing child pornography and administering a noxious substance.

Individually, Shaw was also charged with sexual assault of a person under 18, sexual contact with a child, sexual counsel of a child, and indecent exposure to a person under 16.

Montasser was charged with sexual assault of a person under 18.

“Perpetrators are very skilled at grooming and manipulating their victims with gifts, money, affection; but it’s all a mirage. What this survivor endured was appalling and represents a heart-breaking set of circumstances,” said ALERT's Acting Staff Sgt. Chris Hayes.

The teen is receiving specialized care.

Survivors of sex trafficking can call 211 for help.