A Halifax-area man is in custody on human trafficking charges involving a 15-year-old girl from Pictou County he allegedly met online last month.
Leeanthon Oliver, 32, of Upper Hammonds Plains was arraigned in Halifax provincial court Friday on 11 charges, including trafficking a person under the age of 18 and receiving material benefit from that trafficking.
Oliver is also charged with luring a child over the Internet, sexual interference, sexual assault, forcible confinement, procuring a person under 18 for the purpose of providing sexual services, advertising sexual services, receiving material benefit from the sexual services of a person under 18, uttering threats and assault.
Crown attorney Catherine Cogswell told the court the Crown was opposed to Oliver's release and requested time to prepare for a bail hearing.
Judge Claudine MacDonald scheduled the bail hearing for March 2 and remanded Oliver to the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth.
Oliver was arrested Thursday after police received a complaint involving a girl he allegedly met on Snapchat.
Police allege Oliver drove to Pictou County recently to pick up the girl. The bulk of the offences were allegedly committed in Halifax Regional Municipality this week.
The girl was taken to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax for treatment after she was rescued by police.
Outside court Friday, Cogswell said she plans to call evidence at next week’s bail hearing from a Halifax Regional Police officer who works in the vice unit.
The prosecutor said police continue to investigate Oliver and believe there could be other victims.
“It’s very actively being pursued,” she told Local Xpress. “These are very serious allegations. Any allegation with respect to human trafficking of a victim under the age of 18 carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, so these are very serious charges.”
Oliver has been convicted of at least 25 criminal offences since 2004, include assault, assault with a weapon, possession of stolen property and possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.
He also has four convictions for impaired driving, two for driving while disqualified and 15 for breaching court orders.