About the Trials of LondonI remember when all the press in 1993 hit about the child-pornography ring in London, Ontario. I was working at the prostitutes' resource centre, Maggie's, in Toronto at the time and we really didn't believe it. We decided, since we did outreach across the province of Ontario, to go to London to find out what was going on. Four of us packed up the Maggie's van, rented a cheap hotel room in London and went off to check out Victoria Park, the boys' stroll. It was a fun several nights, walking/working around the stroll, hanging out in the bars. We met quite a few people. By day we hit all the social service agencies and the AIDS Committee of London (ACOL). We weren't warmly welcomed, at first, by the social service "community" (with the exception of ACOL). They were afraid that our prostitute group would further tarnish their town's tattered image.
It was then that I met an aspiring, young journalist, Joseph Couture who told me that he just didn't believe the stories in the paper, or what the police were saying. He smelled a rat. I asked if he was interested in working for the CBC, and told him that I had a friend -- Max Allen, a producer for CBC radio's Ideas program -- who I thought would like to meet him. He accepted and we brought him home to Walnut Avenue.
Joseph certainly earned his his nickname, "Intrepid" on this story (he must have had some incredible luck in tracking down some of those legal documents). Once he came home to find his house surrounded by police cars. The London police were not too impressed with his stories.
"The Trials of London" is probably the most excellent and thorough pieces of journalism I have ever heard. The final part, Part 4, is something to listen to for sure. You should hear the mother's voice as she discovers that it was the police who were lying, not her eight-year-old son.
This stunning expose of possibly the largest sex scandal in North America truly deserves an award. Remember this story when the Federal government pushes through the omnibus bill that will set five-year minimum sentences for procuring someone under the age of 18 years (pimping).
I hope you enjoy! It is still a treat for me -- even as a read.
* Andrew Sorfleet
The Trials of London
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Created: February 23, 1996|
Last modified: March 2, 1998
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