Thursday, April 3, 1997

Andy Ivens
Staff Reporter

p. A14.

3 convicted on pimping, sex charges

Child-care workers came to the Vancouver Law Courts yesterday to take Ruby Ann Fortney and Jaswinder Singh Mahal's 22 month-old daughter into care.

The two Surrey residents were led off to jail after a B.C. Supreme Court jury found them guilty on seven sex and pimp-related charges involving two teenage prostitutes in the summer of 1995.

One of the girls was 13, the other between 15 and 17.

Justice Jon Sigurdson agreed with prosecutor Geordie Proulx's request to revoke bail pending sentencing for both Fortney, 27, and Mahal, 24, who have long criminal records.

A third accused, North Vancouver pizza deliverer Christopher Carroll, 27, was found guilty on all three pimping charges he was facing involving one of the two young victims who testified at the five-week trial. He remains free on bail pending sentencing, due May 6.

A charge of assault against Carroll was stayed after his accuser was recalled to the witness stand and clarified her testimony.

Fortney was found not guilty on one of nine charges she faced, sexually assaulting the older girl.

Mahal and Fortney were both found guilty of sexually assaulting the 13-year-old.

Fortney, a mother of four, was convicted of keeping a common bawdy house, on a quiet residential section of 143A Street in Newton.

Sgt. Gord Elias said the case was a satisfying end to his two-year stint on the Vancouver police vice squad.

"This shows that when a young girl wants to break free, she can and we're here to help her," said Elias, who befriended one of the victims and gave her a teddy bear.

"The system worked," he added.

One other adult, who has yet to come to trial, and five juveniles were charged with pimping after a year-long investigation. Elias and Det. Bob White made arrests in North Vancouver, Surrey, Vancouver, Richmond and Edmonton.

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Created: June 28, 1997
Last modified: July 2, 1997

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