Vancouver, B.C.

The man who was previously convicted of trafficking a Filipina caregiver from Hong Kong three years ago but won an appeal, is to appear in court on March 9 to set a date for his sentencing.

The identity of the Filipina cannot be revealed due to a court publication ban.

Franco Orr, whose first conviction in 2013 was overturned by the the B.C. Court of Appeals last year, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of employing a foreign national without authority, thereby forgoing a new trial.

Orr was the first man to be convicted of human trafficking in Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Act in 2013 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

The Appeals Court overturned the conviction in March 2015 on the issue of credibility of the Crown expert witness and ordered a new trial.

But instead of going to trial for the three charges, Orr, represented by his second lawyer, Terry La Liberte, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge which carries a penalty of $50,000 or two years in prison or both.

At the hearing on Jan. 20, La Liberte informed the court that he was withdrawing from the case as there was an ‘impasse’ over details of the ‘agreed upon statement’ that was supposed to be submitted before sentencing.

At yesterday’s (Feb. 24) hearing which Orr did not attend, his new lawyer, Karin Blok, did not indicate if there was agreement on the statement – a crucial issue as it impacts on the outcome of the sentence.