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Sex-trade worker 'violently assaulted' at Barrie hotel: police

Shelburne-area man, 29, charged with aggravated assault and assault by choking; police believe there could be more victims
A 29-year-old man from Melancthon Township has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault and assault by choking. Barrie police believe there more be more victims.

Barrie police have released a photo of a man accused of committing a "violent assault" on a sex-trade worker at a local hotel last week. 

Investigators believe there could be other victims out there who had "similar interactions" with the suspect.

On April 15, detectives from the Barrie police department's human trafficking unit launched an investigation after an "independent sex-trade worker" reported she had been assaulted by an unknown man who had arranged a visit with her through a texting application.

On April 19, police say they arrested a 29-year-old man from Melancthon Township, which is in the Shelburne area. He has been charged with aggravated assault and assault by choking. He was held in custody pending a bail hearing. His name was not released.

As part of the ongoing investigation, police say a Criminal Code search warrant was executed at his property.

None of the allegations have been tested in court and the accused is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Anyone who recognizes the accused and wishes to report an incident to police can contact detectives at 705-725-7025, ext. 2170 or 2646.

"The Barrie Police Service is committed to protecting independent sex trade workers, and those working in the sex trade that may be victims of human trafficking, by providing support and resources as required, and hold those who harm or mistreat sex trade workers criminally responsible for their actions," police stated in a news release.