Suspected pimp, the accused, was told by police and city officials that the escort industry fronted sex trade was legal, he testified yesterday.
The accused told defence lawyer Pat Fagan he conducted an exhaustive investigation into the escort business to assist a friend who was setting up an agency.
“Did you know what the escort business was all about?” Fagan asked his client.
“Yes I did. The escort business is about sex for money,” the accused said.
The former Calgary firefighter said that was the reason he made inquiries as to why it was allowed in the city so his friend, Tanya Malthouse could set up shop.
“My concern was to make sure the escort business was legal,” he said. “I made some phone calls, I started with the City of Calgary Police Service.
“I asked them straight out, is this … business legal?” the accused said, of his conversation with an unknown member of the police. “They told me that they supported it, … they were part of the licensing and that’s all they said.”
The accused, canned as a firefighter after his Oct. 27, 2002, arrest, said he then made the same inquiries with a city licensing department inspector.
“He told me to get the bylaws, read the bylaws and stick to the bylaws. I did as he suggested, I read the bylaws word for word, I concluded that it is legal, it’s a legal business,” said the accused.
The accused faces several pimping-related charges including living off the avails of prostitution in connection with his involvement with Malthouse’s agency.
Fagan will argue his client was a victim of officially induced error amounting to an abuse of process because of the city’s stance on the industry.