Escort agencies in the city are fronts for prostitution that are virtually ignored by police, a Calgary pimping trial heard Tuesday.
“Is it fair to say the Calgary Police Service leaves escort agencies alone unless there is a public complaint?” asked lawyer Patrick Fagan.
“Aye, sir,” replied Det. Gordon McCulloch, who has spent more than seven years in the vice unit.
During his two tours with the unit, McCulloch has investigated only two escort agencies, including the one he was testifying about – Liaisons Escort Agency.
Fagan’s client, the accused, faces 15 charges in connection with allegations he was pimping for that southwest agency, which police raided in 2002 after a complaint.
Fagan is asking Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Patrick Sullivan for a stay of all the charges against the former firefighter. They include living off the avails of prostitution and keeping a common bawdy house.
Fagan contends the city has legalized prostitution through the licensing of escorts.
Court heard that to obtain a city licence, a potential escort must be interviewed by a civilian member of the vice unit.
“Have you ever interviewed an escort who isn’t a prostitute?” Fagan asked McCulloch.
“No, sir,” he replied.
“Is it true that in order to work legitimately as an escort, you have to have an escort licence from the City of Calgary?”
“Yes, sir,” said McCulloch.
Fagan asked the 25-year veteran if all escort agencies were fronts for prostitution. McCulloch said he didn’t know about all, but he agreed the ones he had investigated were.
Court also heard that material seized from the Liaisons office in the 500 block of 17th Avenue S.W. stated it was an elite agency that provided quality girls and lovemaking with the best sex around.
The three-week trial continues today with the testimony of an undercover police officer who acted as a potential escort.