Police apprehend alleged pimp in sexual assault case

A Canada-wide warrant, issued by the York Regional Police, for a man accused of multiple crimes against a sex trade worker led to the suspect’s recent arrest in Richmond Hill.

Joseph “Ben” or “Benito” Bernadel, 33, was to be held in custody until a bail hearing scheduled for late last month.

Upon the suspect’s arrest, he was charged with robbery, assault, assault causing bodily harm, sexual assault, uttering threats and living on the avails of prostitution.

Police became aware of the incidents back in November 2010.

“A female victim involved in the sex trade reported she was sexually assaulted, robbed and subjected to violence by her pimp throughout the duration of their relationship,” police said in a press release.

“The suspect also used money she earned to live a lavish lifestyle.”

Police reported that the suspect might be the driver of a grey Mercedes-Benz convertible or silver Mercedes-Benz G Wagon. He was further identified as “armed and dangerous.”

Police believe there may be additional victims in the GTA, and as far as the Niagara region and Montreal.

Bernadel does not have a fixed address.

The suspect is believed to have attended area adult entertainment establishments on a regular basis and to have associated with a number of females in the sex trade industry.

Article exclusive to TRNTO