A Montrealer faces a 30-month prison sentence for leading a 16-year-old runaway into prostitution. The teenager has sold her body many times for the benefit of Jonathan Cyr who took care of almost everything behind the scenes.

The 36-year-old man cut short his trial, which had begun the day before, by pleading guilty last Tuesday to two counts: receiving a material benefit from the sexual services of an underage girl and advertising sexual services. He was acquitted on counts of sexual assault and pimping of a minor.

According to the admitted facts, Jonathan Cyr met the victim in February 2018 and offered to “do prostitution with him”. His offer is next: he takes 30% of the profits and she keeps 70%. The teenager claims she told him she was 15 during the meeting.

“It’s according to [the victim]. It’s not recognition,” insisted Me Dominic Côté, Jonathan Cyr’s lawyer. His client only admits that he did not take “reasonable measures” to ascertain the age of the victim.

Two months later, the victim communicates with Jonathan Cyr on the Snapchat application and tells him that he is ready to work. She was then 16 years old. The accused asks her to provide him with photos of her. He informs her that he will take care of communicating with the customers.

She has two “clients” on the first day. For three weeks, between April and June 2018, the victim sometimes engaged in multiple “clients” per day.

Jonathan Cyr played an important role with his protegee: he was usually the one who notified her when a client wanted to obtain his services. He informed her of the “preferences” of the “customers” and the meeting place.

When the teenager went to the hotel, Jonathan Cyr reserved the room in her name and waited for her there. When the victim went to the “clients”, the accused usually waited for him in his vehicle.

It seemed important for the defense to clarify that “no violence” had been used by the defendant to cause the victim to engage in prostitution. Recall that the victim was 16 years old and was a runaway. The events ended when she was arrested by the police in June 2018.

It is unclear how much profit Jonathan Cyr pocketed.

During the hearing, the defense indicated that the defendant owns a freight transport company, Transport-JML Inc., dealing with well-known companies.

Sentencing submissions will take place next September. The judge mentioned that the parties were going to suggest a sentence of 30 months in prison.

His co-accused, Marck Alix Pelchat, was acquitted on all counts. In return, the 28-year-old Montrealer has agreed under section 810 of the Criminal Code to comply with several conditions. Thus, he acknowledged that the victim had reason to fear for his safety. His role in this affair remains unknown.

Me Véronique Warthold represents the public prosecutor.