Man dealing with human trafficking costs stays in custody

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A man initially charged with 76 human trafficking-related offenses against 18 alleged victims appeared in Kingston bail court Tuesday afternoon, only to have an additional charge of sexual assault be sworn against him as a new alleged victim came forward.

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Michael Haaima, 38, of Kingston, appeared before justice of the peace Jack Chiang via video link from Quinte Detention Centre.

On July 12, 76 charges were sworn against Haaima in connection to an investigation that was started by the Kingston Police and the Ontario Provincial Police last January when a complainant came forward to the police. That investigation alleges Haaima lured and exploited victims between 2007-2020.

Police said the victims have been given support from Victim Services of Kingston and Frontenac and are now in a safe place.

Assistant crown attorney Meghan Cunningham explained to Chaing on Tuesday that on April 7 there was a non-communication order made in relation to 19 victims and witnesses. On Tuesday, Cunningham added 19 more.

Det. Staff Sgt. Andrew Taylor, of the OPP’s Anti-Trafficking Investigation Coordination Team, told the Whig-Standard on Tuesday that an additional victim came forward after their initial media release earlier this month, resulting in an additional charge of sexual assault being sworn against Haaima.

Haaima is scheduled to reappear in court on Aug. 2.

Taylor explained that Haaima was first arrested and charged in April because investigators feel there is a public safety risk in relation to Haaima. Taylor said Haaima had a bail review hearing but was reprehended into custody by the justice of the peace at the time. He has been in custody ever since.

The investigator said information about Haaima’s arrest or the investigation wasn’t released to the public because their investigation was still ongoing.

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“I don’t want to say we’ve concluded our investigation because it is ongoing, but we’re at the point now where we’re confident in the information that we’re moving forward on and we’ve had time to corroborate evidence,” Taylor said.

Taylor explained that in human trafficking, the perpetrators are only making money as long as they have someone to exploit. He said that it is not uncommon for a person accused of human trafficking to exploit multiple people.

In relation to the number of charges laid against Haaima, Taylor said it is also not uncommon for a human trafficking investigation in general to produce other criminal charges such as sexual assault, child pornography, and luring. Violence is also common as perpetrators often need to assert control.

“Is it common to have this many? I would say no, however, I wouldn’t say that it’s the first time I’ve had this happen,” Taylor said.

He called the 19 victims in this case brave for coming forward and reporting their information to the police.

“That’s a very courageous act,” Taylor said. “It’s an individual act, but it’s not something that is at all easy. It is extraordinarily difficult and it is extraordinary courageous that they would do that in this particular case.”

Haaima has been charged by police with 19 counts of sexual assault, five counts of unlawfully accessing child pornography, four counts each of obtaining sexual services for consideration, obtaining sexual services for consideration under 18, sexual assault with choking, uttering threats and forcible confinement.

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He has also been charged with three counts each of overcoming resistance by choking, assault, possessing child pornography, as well as two counts each of extortion, aggravated sexual assault, making child pornography, making child pornography available, invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference .

He is also facing one count each of harassment by watching, criminal harassment by communication, compulsions to commit bestiality, mischief under $5,000, procuring a person under 18, trafficking a person under 18, overcoming resistance to commit sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm , luring for an invitation to sexual touching, luring in order to make child pornography, assault with a weapon and voyeurism.

None of the charges have been proven in court.

Police are asking any additional victims to reach out to them. They also ask that if anyone has any additional information that may assist their investigation to also contact them through the OPP’s non-emergency number, 1-888-310-1122, or Kingston Police at 613-549-4660.

“If you or someone you know may be a victim of these crimes, call 911 immediately,” the OPP said.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-833-900-1010. Human trafficking resources are available at

Got a tip? reach out to Steph Crosier at scrosie[email protected], or via twitter:

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