A woman who was exploited and abused by two convicted Vancouver pimps says she’s disgusted to learn they will be released on bail.
The B.C. Court of Appeal ordered the release of Kasra Mohsenipour and Tamim Albashir on $250,000 sureties on Monday as they await a hearing on their appeals for running a prostitution ring.
A central question in their appeals is expected to be the misconduct of former Vancouver detective James Fisher, who led parts of the investigation into their crimes.
One of the women who testified against Mohsenipour and Albashir told CBC she’s still dealing with the trauma from her time spent working for them as well as her participation in their 2018 trial.
“The fact is I went on the stand for nine days and I gave it my all. I had to relive it all over again. And nine days, all day long — it takes a toll. It was really brutal,” she said.
Her identity is protected by a publication ban, but in court documents from the trial, she is referred to by her initials, K.C.
“It’s just nonsense how the system is working and not fair for the victims,” K.C. said.
Crown spokesperson Dan McLaughlin said he couldn’t confirm whether Mohsenipour and Albashir have come up with the bail money and been released.
But he said that when they leave prison, it will be on conditions including 24-hour house arrest, electronic monitoring and bans on contacting their victims or possessing any weapons.
Questions about misconduct of former detective
Mohsenipour and Albashir were arrested after an investigation by the Vancouver Police Department’s Counter Exploitation Unit, which included disgraced former detective James Fisher. He has admitted to abusing young victims of sex crimes.
Earlier this year, Mohsenipour and Albashir’s lawyers received a substantial file of information about the investigation into Fisher’s misconduct that was not disclosed during their original trial, according to court documents.
Fisher has admitted to kissing two young women who’d already been exploited by pimps and was sentenced to 20 months in jail for sexual exploitation and breach of trust.
But there are allegations his misconduct was much more widespread, including suggestions he had sexual contact with several other victims and witnesses in sex trafficking trials, gave them drugs and money, and encouraged them to lie in court.
K.C. said she’s not scared of Albashir and Mohsenipour, but she’s furious they’re being released just two years after they were convicted on 17 charges.
She’s particularly incensed about Albashir, who was the leader of the operation, according to court documents, and has a documented history of threats and violence against her.
Justice Elizabeth Bennett described some of that violence in an appeals court decision on Monday.
“On one occasion, he struck her in the face and caused a black eye. On another, he grabbed her by the throat, threw her to the ground, and placed his knee on her face,” Bennett said.
‘Really bad human being’
K.C. described Albashir as volatile and controlling.
“He does not respect women and he is a really bad human being,” she said.
A previous application from Mohsenipour and Albashir for release on bail was denied in March, when the appeals court agreed to expedite the hearing of their appeals. Those hearings are expected to begin in the fall.
A third man accused in connection with their prostitution ring, Omar Alameddin, is yet to go to trial.