UPDATE JANUARY 8, 2018: Human trafficking charges against Vancouver man likely to be dropped
A new trial has been granted for a man convicted of human trafficking of his family’s live-in nanny.
B.C.’s highest court has overturned Franco Orr’s conviction of three separate charges under the Immigration and Refugee Act.
The Cown had alleged Orr brought the nanny to Canada under false pretenses, essentially forcing her to live as a slave.
But three judges on B.C.’s Court of Appeal have ruled one of the Crown’s key expert witnesses was not properly qualified to testify.
That witness said she may have waited to report allegations, because that’s how abuse victims may react.
His lawyer, Terry LaLiberte, says he’s already been granted bail.
“A case like this, not that many witnesses, we’ll be ready to go to trial in months rather than years.”
“What kind of toll has this taken on your client?”
“Financially devastated –totally, financially devastated.”
LaLiberte says he is pleased the higher court judges agreed the testimony of one witness for the prosecution wasn’t valid.
“There was a very serious concern about the trial judge allowing a person to testify as a victimologist –to me, an unknown area of expertise.”
Along with human trafficking, Orr was convicted of illegally employing a foreign national and lying to immigration officials.
His wife, who faced similar charges, was acquitted by the jury.
It’s the latest blow for the efforts to convict people under human trafficking laws.
Last month, a West Vancouver woman announced she is suing the RCMP and B.C. director of civil forfeiture after she was acquitted of similar charges.