Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Andre Stubbs 'hit me' and demanded money: former prostitute, Toronto BLM Black Lives Matter
It was 2008 and D.S. — her identity protected by a publication ban — had just been released from jail in Penetanguishene.
Originally from Northern Ontario, the 19-year-old had had a rough childhood — her mom was an addict, her father was unknown and she had been sexually abused as a child.
She was free but now what?
“I didn’t have no money. I was on the street. I was scared,” she told a Toronto court Tuesday.
A vivacious girl who she met on the inside told her to call Andre “Blue” Stubbs if she wanted to make a lot of cash.
“She said I have someone nice for you to meet and he’ll take care of you. She didn’t tell me exactly what ‘making money’ meant. I didn’t know what the game was.”
When D.S. ended up in Toronto — abandoned by a guy when she refused to give him oral sex — she called Stubbs’ number.
It would be the biggest mistake of her life.
Police alleged Stubbs choked her into unconsciousness, burned her arm with a lit cigarette and sliced her Achilles heel with a broken glass while forcing her to work as a prostitute from 2008 until she was discovered bleeding in a midtown apartment in July 2014.
Stubbs has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges, including human trafficking and sexual assault.
She is 27 now, a beautiful woman who clutches a tissue that she uses often to dab at her eyes.
She works helping victims of sexual violence but now she is describing her own ordeal allegedly at the hands of the man taking notes in the prisoner’s box, who lifts his head of cornrows every so often to smirk at her pain.
“He seemed really nice,” D.S. said, testifying at his judge-alone trial. “I had some hope.”
Stubbs and a friend picked her up, she said, and took her to a hotel in the east end.
Stubbs forced himself on her, despite her insisting that she didn’t want to have sex.
“I was 19. I’ve never slept with anybody. Ever. I’ve never had a boyfriend ever in my life.”
He apologized for hurting her, bought her food, paid for the hotel room, purchased new clothes to replace the jailhouse ones she had left with.
He wooed her — and she fell for it.
“No one had ever bought clothes before,” she said. “I thought I’d found someone really nice to be with.”
But once he reeled her in, he slowly changed.
In a voice she had never heard before, she said Stubbs began by demanding her first welfare cheque.
“He hit me on my left cheek and then I gave him the money,” she recalled, pausing to wipe the tears that stubbornly fell. “I felt scared. I’d never been hit in my life by a guy. He was so nice. I never thought he would do something like that.”
It was the first time he had backhanded her, she said, but it wouldn’t be the last.
Stubbs continually told her she needed to start making money.
He bought her several scanty stripper outfits and stiletto heels and took her to a “massage parlour” on Dufferin St. to get a job.
“I didn’t know what it was,” she recalled. “I found out myself what goes on in there.”
Stubbs demanded whatever money she made and struck her when she didn’t immediately hand it over, D.S. said. She didn’t have a choice; she had nowhere else to go.
“I felt broken. I didn’t understand why he had to hit me and take my money. I just didn’t understand.”
He was her boyfriend, she thought. In 2009, she had his nickname tattooed on her shoulder. He refused to do the same.
It was only later that she realized she had been branded as property.
Her testimony continues Wednesday.
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