Third man arrested in human trafficking investigation

London police cruiser file photo. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News.)

London police have arrested a third suspect in a human trafficking investigation dating back to May of this year.

Investigators announced the arrest of 32-year-old Matthew Parris-Cassidy of London. Police say he was arrested in the city on Thursday.

Parris-Cassidy was one of three men wanted in an investigation that was launched after a Whitby woman was allegedly trafficked from May to approximately June 26, 2022. Two other men linked to the investigation have since been arrested.

Some time in May 2022, a woman met a man at a shopping mall in Scarborough who offered to drive her home. The man reportedly began driving in a different direction and is alleged to have held the woman at gun point to get her to comply with his demands.

For a two week period beginning on June 5, the woman told police she was forced to attend a number of locations outside of London where she was sexually assaulted. On one occasion she alleges she was forced to perform sexual acts at several locations in London for money. She said she was later introduced to two other men who allegedly sexually assaulted her and forced her perform sexual acts for money.

The woman eventually escaped from the men and contacted London police on June 26.

As a result, Parris-Cassidy, along with Justin Steven Adams, 35, of London, and Jonathan Drummond, 37, of no fixed address are charged with trafficking a person by exercising control, forcible confinement, sexual assault, uttering threats to cause death, extortion, financially benefitting from trafficking a person over 18, material benefit from sexual services, and procuring a person to provide sexual services.

Parris-Cassidy faces additional charges of assault, assault with a weapon, sexual assault, robbery and uttering death threats. He is scheduled to appear in a London courtroom on Friday.