An alleged human trafficker has been committed to stand trial on 25 criminal charges involving five girls or young women following a preliminary inquiry in Halifax provincial court.
Duncan Robertson Wright, 45, of Halifax has been in custody since last April, when he was initially charged with 22 offences involving three teenage girls.
The number of charges had risen to 42 by the time his preliminary inquiry got underway Monday.
After hearing testimony from three complainants, Crown attorneys Perry Borden and Kim McOnie stayed 22 of the charges Tuesday but added five new allegations.
Wright, who is represented by Dartmouth lawyer Peter Kidston, then conceded there was enough evidence to proceed to trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on the remaining 25 charges.
Judge Elizabeth Buckle ordered Wright, who has not applied for bail, to appear in Supreme Court in Halifax on March 29 to begin the process of setting dates for a judge-alone trial.
Wright is charged with trafficking a person under the age of 18, two counts of receiving financial benefit from human trafficking, and three counts of procuring someone to provide sexual services for consideration.
He also faces six counts of either making, distributing or possessing child pornography, four counts of communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services, two counts each of sexual assault and sexual interference, and single counts of invitation to sexual touching, luring a child for the purpose of committing a sexual offence, keeping a common bawdy house at his residence on Quartz Drive in Spryfield, receiving financial benefit from sexual services provided by someone under the age of 18, and allowing a person under 18 to engage in prohibited sexual activity in his household.
Police allege the offences were committed in Halifax between July 31, 2016, and April 6, 2017.