Four members of a Dartmouth family will stand trial next March on human trafficking and pimping-related charges involving three young women.
Robin Elizabeth Gray, 58, her daughter Laura Mona Gray, 28, and sons Justin Jurrell Gray and Leslie Burton Gray, both 26, were arrested this past winter following a short investigation.
All four entered not-guilty pleas Monday in Halifax provincial court.
Leslie Gray and Justin Gray are still in custody. Leslie appeared in court in person while his brother appeared by video link from the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Pictou County.
The women, who are out on bail, let their lawyers appear on their behalf.
Judge Elizabeth Buckle scheduled the trial for two weeks beginning March 2.
All four accused face multiple counts of human trafficking, receiving material benefits from human trafficking and receiving benefits from prostitution.
The brothers are also charged with procuring someone to provide sexual services for consideration, advertising sexual services.
Justin faces three additional charges of sexual assault and single count of forcible confinement and uttering threats, while Leslie is accused of communicating with someone for the purpose of obtaining sexual services for consideration.
Outside court, Crown attorney Cory Roberts said the offences were allegedly committed between 2012 and early 2019 in Halifax, Dartmouth and Bedford. He said some of the complainants were under the age of 18 when they were allegedly victimized.
Roberts said the case “is significant in terms of the amount of accused being charged together. It may be significant as well in that they’re all related and they’re all a family.”
The Grays have been ordered to have no contact with each other, the alleged victims and Crown witnesses.
On Monday, Leslie Gray was also arraigned on five new charges concerning a fourth young woman: human trafficking, procuring, communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services for consideration, advertising sexual services, and assault. Those offences are alleged to have been committed in Halifax between January 2014 and September 2015.
The new charges against Leslie will be back in court next week. Roberts told the court the Crown might attempt to have them added to the other charges and heard at trial at the same time.
A fifth member of the family, Andre Jerome Gray, 23, faces unrelated sex trafficking and pimping charges.
In November 2017, Leslie Gray and Andre Gray pleaded guilty in Halifax provincial court to charges involving a young woman they were accused of forcing into the sex trade.
Leslie accepted responsibility for four offences — advertising sexual services, receiving material benefit from prostitution, receiving material benefit from human trafficking and uttering threats — while Andre admitted uttering threats.
Leslie received a sentence of 30 months, less 14 months for remand credit, as well as two years’ probation. Andre was sentenced to 112 days in jail, deemed time served, plus three years’ probation.
In April 2014, Andre Gray was charged with human trafficking, sexual assault and other offences after a 15-year-old girl said she was held against her will in the basement of a home in North Preston. He pleaded guilty to charges of assault and forcible confinement and was sentenced in February 2016 to time served.