A man convicted of acting as a woman’s pimp over a seven-year period told a Guelph court Monday that he was just trying to be helpful.
Marcus Sinclair, 30, was speaking at his own sentencing hearing after being found guilty of human trafficking.
Sinclair told Justice Nancy Mossip that “I just want to help people” and that wanting to help people “got me into this situation.”
“I’m sorry I’m not smarter in these situations,” Sinclair said.
“I’m just going to be a great man after this.”
Defence counsel Hubert Gonzalez and crown attorney Steve Hamilton made their submissions Monday. A victim impact statement was submitted in written form.
Defence is seeking a sentence of 18 months. The prosecution is asking for three to four years.
Justice Mossip will hand down the sentence on Oct. 12.
Court heard that Sinclair first met the victim, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, in 2007 in Toronto. She was “homeless, penniless and had no family or friends in Toronto."
Over the next seven years she had sex for money with Sinclair acting as her pimp, placing ads for her services in publications, occasionally hiding in the closet while clients were serviced and taking money from her.
“It’s obvious that in this case that there was significant control” over the victim, Hamilton said, adding it was for “his own economic interest.”
Their relationship spanned “many years, different cities, different provinces” and while there was no physical violence involved, there was “always an underlying threat,” Hamilton said.
The crown attorney added that Sinclair constantly degraded and insulted the victim and that there was a “psychological chain around the neck” of the victim.
He also noted that there was no expression of remorse.
Defence counsel countered that Sinclair had no prior criminal record, worked two part time jobs, was engaged to be married and has spent the past two years under house arrest while on bail.
Gonzalez said Sinclair did not demand a set amount of money from the victim, and only placed ads in publications when the victim asked him too.
He said Sinclair once told the victim to “call police” if she got in trouble with a client.
That instruction, Gonzalez contended, made Sinclair “one of the worst pimps in history.”
Sinclair, his lawyer said, never held the victim against her will and never threatened her.
He said she left to live elsewhere several times, only to return.
She was 19 when they first met and had been a prostitute since she was 14, Gonzalez said.
“He did not get (the victim) into prostitution,” the lawyer said.
He said Sinclair is a more productive member of society than he has ever been and that a sentence that would send him to a federal penitentiary would erase all that.