Since last Monday, everyone has been talking about this book: Operation Scorpion. The underside of the largest investigation into child prostitution in Quebec.You guessed that on this day of going to the bookstore, I could only wink at you, especially since I have a bias for this book. I wrote it with my friend and partner, Roger Ferland, the principal investigator responsible for this hot file which has shaken, certainly the City of Quebec, but also the whole province.
The writing was not easy. In addition to the hundred hours of interviews with Roger and readings of court documents, I had to meet several people, including victims, some with my partner, and pimps. At one point, the Scorpion was coming out of my nostrils!
When I put an end to this book, which took about 12 years to complete, Roger and I had a feeling of accomplishment. The Scorpion was going to come out of its torpor and try once again to awaken consciences, always with the objective of prevention.
Why come back to this affair?
Scorpion is not a survey like any other. It took root in 2002 in Quebec City when the phenomenon of street gangs was consigned to the Montreal region. It will shed light on the presence of several juvenile prostitution networks making teenage girls available to men of power.
A large-scale police operation that will shake the columns of the temple and thus reveal that there are no rumors… smoke without fire. The team will go as far as possible. Still, she will be in the crosshairs of all eyes. After all, it was the first time that police officers dared to attack prostitutes (commonly called “clients”) and not the least. In this sense, Scorpion was avant-garde.
Is the “customer” still king?
Since November 2014, it is illegal to buy sex in Canada. In addition, several amendments to the Criminal Code with respect to human trafficking, notably those in Bill C-452 (one of my babies), have facilitated the work of the police and protected victims. Moreover, the number of police officers assigned to the fight against procuring has increased over the years. An integrated squad, made up of seven police forces, was even created in 2017.
The question that kills? Why so few arrested prostitutes? In an industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars, it is rather unusual to have so few arrests of prostitutes. Of this small number who go through the courts, how many are men of power? If there were, we would know. No?
After all these years of struggle, I often have the feeling that I am fighting against a Goliath. However, the solution is simple: attack the prostitutes.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128