Photo courtesy of Global Calgary.
Calgary police say a father and his son have been arrested and charged after multiple teenage girls were sexually exploited, assaulted and extorted for several months.
Police say in a statement that they found a 13-year-old girl in April who had previously been reported missing.
They say the girl told police she was in a relationship with a 24-year-old man who gave her alcohol, drugs and vapes in exchange for sex.
Police say the man and his 56-year-old father own Haddon Convenience Store, which is located next door to a liquor store where the assaults allegedly took place.
Police allege the pair was providing drugs and alcohol to multiple other teenage girls, who were also sexually assaulted, from December to May.
They say the girls were unable to consent, because they were not 16.
Police arrested both men Thursday and executed search warrants at a home and the two businesses, where they say officers seized a computer with child pornography.
Sumrit Walia, 24, faces about 20 charges — including sexual interference with a minor, sexual exploitation as well as possessing, accessing and creating child pornography.
His 56-year-old father, Gurpartap Singh Walia, is also charged with sexual assault, sexual interference with a minor and selling contraband tobacco.
"These are incredibly serious charges, where vulnerable youths were being targeted, exploited and forced to enter a dangerous lifestyle," said Staff Sgt. Darren Smith of the child abuse unit.
"Thankfully, with the support of Alberta Health Services, Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Commission, and the City of Calgary, we have been able to stop the continued exploitation of these young girls."
The girls, he said, are being supported by Luna Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. It provides support for children, youth and families who have been affected by severe and complex abuse.