HALIFAX, N.S. - An Upper Hammonds Plains man was 32 when he began chatting with two 15-year-old Pictou County girls on social media in January 2017, but he didn’t tell them his real age.
Leeanthon Oliver told one of the girls he was 18 and the other he was 23.
After earning their trust, he lured the teenagers to the city, where he forced them into prostitution.
Oliver’s pimping activities came to light in February 2017, after police received a call that a girl was locked in the basement of a house on Pockwock Road in Upper Hammonds Plains. Officers found her walking down the road with no shoes on.
Additional charges were laid against Oliver the following month, after police learned of another victim and reached out to her.
Oliver, now 34, pleaded guilty Sept. 5 in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax to two charges involving the girl who had escaped from the basement - human trafficking a person under the age of 18 and sexual interference.
He also took responsibility for three charges involving the other girl – receiving material benefits from human trafficking, sexual assault and making child pornography.
Judge James Chipman accepted a joint recommendation from lawyers for a sentence of eight years in prison less credit for time on remand.
Oliver’s net sentence going forward was five years, eight months and 10 days.
A copy of the judge’s sentencing decision was released Monday.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Oliver befriended one of the girls on Snapchat and chatted with her on Facebook for about a month.
Oliver sent her flattering messages and told her he loved her. When he requested a sexy photo, she sent him a picture of her on her bed in only a bra and underwear. He sent her a picture of his penis.
Oliver and a driver picked her up in New Glasgow in February 2017 and took her to a house in Upper Hammonds Plains. She and Oliver went into the unfinished basement, where there was a mattress on the floor with two blankets and a pillow.
“Oliver was nice at first, but then his mood changed,” the statement says.
He offered the girl alcohol but she declined. He touched her breasts and buttocks under her clothing and slapped her buttocks multiple times, saying how beautiful she was and how they were going to make lots of money.
Oliver was on his phone and computer throughout the day. Early the next morning, the driver took her to the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel in Halifax, where Oliver had arranged for her to have sex with a client.
There were two men in Room 509 when she got there. One of the men demanded that she get on the bed and the other man began having intercourse with her.
She told the man to stop several times and said it hurt. She was paid $440 and gave Oliver a portion of the money when she returned to the vehicle.
They returned to the house on Pockwock Road. She became afraid after Oliver refused to take her home. Oliver eventually passed out from alcohol consumption and the girl texted a friend, who called police, before she sneaked out of the house.
The other girl arrived at the house on Pockwock Road in January 2017 and was there for several days. Upon her arrival, Oliver made her perform oral sex on two of his male friends in the bathroom.
Oliver advertised the girl’s services on a classifieds website, using photos of another female.
Over a period of five days, she was driven to about 10 calls at various residences. She received between $75 and $150 per call and gave Oliver the money.
The girl went back to Pictou County but returned to Oliver’s place after he contacted her on Facebook. They had sex one night when they were both drunk.
The next day, she texted her aunt, who said she would pick her up. She ran out of the house when she knew her aunt was on Pockwock Road.
Neither victim submitted an impact statement for sentencing.
Oliver told the court he grew up surrounded by hustlers, pimps, crack addicts and prostitutes in central Halifax. By age 14, he said he was selling drugs and sleeping around daily, “just like my father who abandoned me for crack cocaine at a very young age.”
He said he did a 180-degree turnaround at age 15 and was looking forward to starting high school when his 20-year-old brother was shot to death in July 2000. “He (was) laid to rest on my 16th birthday,” Oliver said.
Oliver got through a year and half of high school before dropping out due to depression over the loss of his brother and falling back into “old habits.”
He told the judge he was sexually abused as a child.
“I’m ashamed to say ... I became an abuser,” Oliver said. “I became the very thing that I hated. I quietly sought out and fulfilled my eyes, my mind and my heart with shameful things.”
Oliver said he cried to God in the days leading up to his sentencing, begging for forgiveness and the power to live differently.
“I’m sincerely sorry for the victims and their families,” he said. “I hope today brings some sort of closure for them, and at the same time I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
In addition to the prison time, the judge ordered Oliver to provide a DNA sample for a national databank. Oliver will have to register as a sex offender after he gets out of prison and cannot have firearms for the rest of his life. The judge also imposed an order prohibiting any contact with children.