“Beautiful” is what a john called the relationship of the Penticton man and his stepdaughter who he is accused of pimping.
“It was unbelievable. They got along so well. They always co-operated with each other like they were the best of friends. It was an unbelievable relationship,” said the john while testifying at Penticton provincial court on Thursday.
Testifying under Section 5 of the Canada Evidence Act, which does not allow what he says to be used against him in court, the john admitted he paid a Penticton girl for sex last summer. He said he met the teen and her stepfather at the Soupateria and noticed them sitting on a bus stop bench that he said is a common hangout for Penticton sex-trade workers to pick up dates. The john told the court he guessed the girl was between 16 and 19 years old at the time.
Defense counsel James Pennington targeted his cross-examination on the details surrounding how the john ended up arranging a weekly date with the teen for which he paid her $100. The john said he approached the stepfather first because he felt it was inappropriate to ask the girl if she was a “working girl.” After the stepfather said the teen was, the john said he asked how old she was, and the stepfather replied she was 18. The john said he then asked how much “is full service?” At this point he said the stepfather told him to ask the girl, and she said $60. The john then told them he would be back at the end of the month.
When the john had the money at the end of May 2011, he approached the stepfather to confirm the price once again and was told the teen would do it for $100. At that time he arranged for the teen to meet him at his apartment on a Monday at 4 p.m. In total, the john said he had seven to eight dates with the girl, first starting every Monday then later that standing date changed to Saturdays.
“She was a professional and knew what she was doing,” explained the john, who went into further detail of the sexual relationship.
Pennington’s line of questioning suggested that the stepfather was not acting as a pimp and the girl was arranging this particular date on her own volition. The john admitted to having used prostitutes before and said he “learned through diplomacy or common sense” that you ask the girl if she was a sex-trade worker and that was why he approached the stepfather.
“Never during the whole eight weeks was the word pimp used by (the girl),” testified the john.
The john said he has seen prostitutes working under stress, and the Penticton girl seemed the “complete opposite” and they in fact had a kind of friendship. He said even when he asked what happens with the money he gave her, he was told by the girl that she and her stepfather both liked marijuana and would either sell it or smoke it.
“Never, ever did I feel (the girl) was coerced, threatened or intimidated into doing what she did,” said the john.
Earlier on Thursday, an RCMP officer described how he covertly watched the girl and her stepfather meet with what he thought was a john in Lakawana Park near Okanagan Lake in Penticton.
The officer said the john sat down at the table with the girl, and when her stepfather returned from the washroom it appeared as if a conversation was held. The girl and the john then got up and walked away.
The officer said he later saw the girl and her stepfather walking away together from the park and she pulled out a clump from her purse that appeared to have a $5 bill on top and passed it to her stepfather.
The trial, in which the stepfather is facing 10 charges including sexual assault and living off the avails of prostitution, is scheduled to wrap up on Friday. For more on the trial, including web updates, visit www.pentictonwesternnews.com.