Crown to file preferred indictment in Bridgewater human trafficking case
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BRIDGEWATER, NS — A preliminary investigation into two people accused of trafficking on the South Shore involving a teenage New Brunswick girl was dropped Tuesday after prosecutors announced they were filing preferential charges to bring the case directly to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court .
Bruce Gilroy, 31, of Brookdale, Cumberland County, and Chelsey Wilson, 30, of Moncton, NB, are both accused of trafficking with a person under the age of 18 to exploit sexual services and financial gain from the incarceration, sexual assault and administration of a harmful substance.
Gilroy and Wilson were elected last March to be tried alone by a Supreme Court Justice.
A preliminary inquiry was scheduled to take place in Bridgewater Provincial Court on Tuesday, but QCs Josie McKinney and Chelsea Cottreau opted for a preferential or direct charge to bypass the hearing.
Judge Paul Scovil ordered Gilroy and Wilson to appear in the Bridgewater Superior Court on March 30 to set hearing dates.
The couple were arrested after Bridgewater Police responded to an 911 call from a 16-year-old girl on November 9, 2021, who said she needed help but didn’t know where she was.
Officers found the teenager in a Bridgewater hotel parking lot.
Police learned the girl was from New Brunswick and had been sexually assaulted at a local hotel. They also found that she had stayed at other hotels across Nova Scotia with a group of adults.
Bridgewater Police announced the charges three days later and said they took the victim to a safe location in their home province.
Gilroy remains free on $2,000 bail with house arrest. He must reside at an address near Amherst and must not possess weapons or possess or use drugs.
He may not contact the complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, or be within 10 meters of her home, work or school.
Wilson was also granted bail in November 2021. She was allowed to live in Moncton and report to Bridgewater Police by phone every Friday, but was returned to custody after her sponsorship resigned in January 2022.
Wilson, who is being represented by Shawnee Gregory, appeared in court Tuesday via a video link from prison. Attorney David Hirtle spoke for Gilroy, who was not present.