“Cruel and unusual punishment” is what two men who pled guilty to trafficking two teenage girls for the sale of sexual services in Ontario, Canada, claim their four-year prison sentences are.
Lawyers for Minas Abara, 20, and Nicholas Kulafofski, 19, are challenging the mandatory minimum sentence of four years while Assistant Crown Attorney Bianca DiBiase is calling for sentences of five to eight years.
Abara’s lawyer has claimed that the four-year prison sentence could result in ‘trauma’ to his client.
CBC News reports:
Abara and Kulafofski’s lawyers are arguing the mandatory minimum sentence set out in the Criminal Code of Canada violates the men’s right to be free of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, a right in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Kulafofski’s lawyer, Frances Brennan, suggests the judge impose a sentence of 15 to 18 months in jail and two years probation for her client.
Abara’s lawyer, Chris Uwagboe, said the penitentiary term of four years “would have an irreparable effect” on his client.
“The loss of freedom, and separation from family and society at such a young age would be a trauma that (Abara) may never recover from,” Uwagboe wrote.
DiBiase’s submission to the court stated that Abara and Kulafofski controlled the girls’ “’schedule, what sexual acts (the victims) would perform and the price for each sexual service.’” The sex traffickers’ victims were 14 and 17 at the time of their trafficking.
While mandatory minimum sentences for crimes such as murder have been in place in Canadian law for a long time, however, between 2005 and 2016 a number of new ones were introduced. Since then, mandatory minimum sentences have been overturned in cases of human trafficking.
A judge will consider arguments, sentencing submissions and victim statements prior to making a decision on the sentences.