OTTAWA -- After weeks of soul-curdling testimony from young teen schoolgirls pimped out to johns, two of the three girl teens accused of operating an underage sex ring entered surprise mid-trial guilty pleas Thursday.
The alleged ringleader will now sit alone in the prisoner's dock as the trial continues, deserted by her co-accused whose pleas ensure they will not face the prospect of being sentenced as adults.
The girl victims have endured reliving dark hours spent unwillingly satisfying the sexual appetites of strange men.
"We couldn't have done it without the strength of the victims," lead investigator Det. Kelly Lyle said outside the courtroom.
"I'm proud of every one of them."
A 16-year-old pimp pleaded guilty to counts of human trafficking relating to three girls aged 13 to 17, as well as to single counts of robbery, luring and making child pornography.
The other girl pimp, now 18, copped to human trafficking relating to a 16-year-old victim as well as to single counts of uttering threats, robbery and breaching recognizance.
The 16-year-old will have a sentencing hearing on Dec. 20. In the meantime, she remains in custody where she will undergo a psychiatric and sexual behaviours assessment.
The 18-year-old has her sentencing hearing Nov. 19. The court heard she may seek bail ahead of that date. She appears in court Friday.
The trial for the alleged ringleader, who is 17, continues on Oct. 17.