Alleged pimp pleads guilty

Rather than go through a three-week trial in April, a man who police say recruited young girls from across Canada to sell sex in Kelowna pleaded guilty to five of the 14 charges he faced. 

Simon Rypiak was arrested in August 2016 after police investigated the Kelowna man for 11 months prior, across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec.

The 34-year-old man, who used the name Simon Ross, was charged with 14 charges including human trafficking, sexual assault, procuring both minors and adults to sell sexual services, assault causing bodily harm, and benefiting from sexual services.

Following his arrest, police said they believed Rypiak recruited girls aged 15 to 20 for his Kelowna escort business using social media.

“Investigators also believe that the accused used physical violence to maintain control of his victims, whom he forced to work as escorts for him,” Const. Jesse O’Donaghey said in August 2016.

While he was scheduled to face trial on April 8, Rypiak, who is currently out of custody on bail, pleaded guilty to five of his charges earlier this month.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of procuring adults to offer sexual services and one count of obtaining a material benefit from sexual services. Notably, he did not plead guilty to the two charges of procuring a minor to offer sexual services, or the human trafficking and assault charges.

While the charges Rypiak pleaded guilty to carry no minimum sentence, procuring a minor to offer sexual services carries a minimum sentence of five years, and human trafficking carries a minimum sentence of four years.

It's unclear if the Crown will drop Rypiak's other charges following his sentencing. To avoid trials, the Crown will sometimes drop charges in exchange for guilty pleas on others. 

Rypiak is scheduled to be sentenced on April 23.

Rypiak was originally supposed to face trial last October, but it was postponed when he obtained a new lawyer last summer.

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